Ed Sheeran has advised young musicians not to waste their money on music degrees.
The 'A-team' singer told Radio 1's Newsbeat that the best way to break through in the industry is to gain experience working with those already in the business.
He said: "If you want to be a producer then shadow a producer, start making him tea. If you want to be a singer then make sure you go to a lot of shows of people you really, really admire, study how they do it."
The singer-songwriter shot to fame in 2011 after gaining exposure through constant gigging and support from the BBC's 'Introducing' scheme.
Sheeran added: "Do your own shows, work up your confidence, write as many songs as possible so each time you do a song it gets better and better and better."
Ed Sheeran's hard work has resulted in huge sales - and an army of fans
He went on to claim that many aspiring musicians have a misguided view that a degree is essential to succeed in the industry, when it actually drains time and money that could be better put towards aquiring 'real-life' experience.
"The main thing people get messed up is they think, 'Right I need a degree, I'm going to go off and study music at university'."
The 21-year-old is speaking from personal experience as before hitting the big-time he studied at Music College himself. He described how his first lesson involved how learning how to put up a mic stand.
"You can learn to do that on your own", he argued.
The Yorkshire-born star has since won two Brit awards, an Ivor Novello award, and his album '+' is currently the fourth best seller of 2012.
Watch Sheeran perform 'Give Me Love' on last weekend's Jonathan Ross show
Photos: Ed Sheeran's headline show at this year's iTunes festival