By Danielle Jackson
January 18, 2017 at 11:36 AM EST
Anthony Harvey/Getty Images

After releasing his two newest singles, announcing his new album, and breaking a slew of Spotify records, Ed Sheeran sat down with Zane Lowe’s Apple Beats 1 radio show on Tuesday to discuss his return to music. During the conversation, the 25-year-old singer/songwriter revealed that his album ÷ (pronounced Divide), which is set to release March 3, may have been released as early as November had it not been for the election.

“The plan was to come in September and then the album was meant to come in November, but the week the album was coming out was the week the presidential elections,” Sheeran told Lowe. “That was just a s— storm of media and I was like, ‘Obviously if I come out with a record then no one’s gonna care. And then the week after Bruno [Mars] came out, the week after [The] Weeknd came out and I was like …”

Sheeran then explained to Lowe that, since 2016 was a huge year for albums, delaying ÷‘s release alleviated his need to compete with other artists.

“It feels like a clean start, this year,” he said. “I don’t feel any — like any time I’ve ever come out there’s always been another person. Like, remember the first year I came out, being nominated for every award. But then Adele was nominated for every award, and I’d kind of turn up and be like, ‘Oh, uh yeah.’ But this year it kinda feels like there’s no one there. I’m very, very confident in this year. This year is mine.”

Watch the full interview below.