Ed Sheeran's next album won't be pop.

The 'Perfect' singer plans on surprising fans by going down a completely different artistic route on his follow-up to last year's record-breaking LP 'Divide', and he's not worried if it isn't as commercially successful as his third studio effort.

He explained: ''I feel like it's dangerous to have a career that goes bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger and everything's happening, because at some point it's gonna drop.

''The next record that I'm making is not a pop album.

''The reason it's not a pop album is people expect you to come (up with more pop tunes) and the next album they're going to be like, 'It has to be bigger than 'Shape of You' and it has to sell more than this', but if I control it and go, 'Here's a low-fi record that I really f**king love,' my fans are gonna be like 'Yay!', and the pop world are gonna be like, 'Oh well, maybe the next one.'''

Speaking on pal George Ezra's new podcast, the 26-year-old singer/songwriter added: ''If the next album does, like, two or one (million), or 500,000 (sales units), it's not a failure because I've made an album where I'm not trying to get there, so it's not a failure.

''No one's going to be like, 'That's a flop'. They're going to be like, 'That's what he wants to do.'''

The flame-haired star admits that ditching his pop sound isn't popular with his record label, Atlantic Records, but he's made his mind up.

He said: ''The label hate that. The label really f**king hate that.

''They want a big pop album again but I think that s**t's dangerous.''

The 'Castle on the Hill' hitmaker has compared his sound-shift to that of rock band Coldplay, who switched things up on their 2014 album 'Ghost Stories'.

He explained: ''My whole career I've studied Coldplay, and Coldplay are f**king geniuses.

''They did it with 'Ghost Stories'. 'Ghost Stories' was their artistic moment.''