Sadly, Jamal Edwards MBE, MBA, PHD aged 31, passed away yesterday, 20th February – a young man with the outlook for a fantastic future. Nonetheless, in those 31years, he accomplished more than most twice his age.
His career started at age 15 when he was given a video camera as a gift from his parents. Later, he set up his YouTube channel because there was no access to the music he wanted to hear.
So, he set about making sure that people could.
On his channel, you could see the early careers of Stormzy, Skepta, Ed Sheeran, Jessie J and Lady Leshurr. These are just a handful of musicians we now know who appeared on his channel SBTV.
Jamal did not want to be in the spotlight but wanted to make sure that musicians had a platform to showcase their work. He recorded and uploaded videos to his channel, which exploded in 2011 after appearing in a Google Chrome advert.
Despite not wanting to be in the limelight, he didn’t let that deter him from making appearances on shows like Channel 4’s Gogglebox. He was reported as saying, “I wanted to be the Banksy” and “I wanted no one to know who I was.”
However, such was his drive. The uncomfortableness of being ‘known’ did not stop him from creating a business worth several million. As a result, in 2014, at just aged 24, Jamal was awarded an MBE for his services to music.
In his 31 years, Jamal was a DJ, broadcaster, author, entrepreneur, Princes Trust ambassador, and founder of SBTV. Jamal is also known to have created awareness for things like mental health. He encouraged other young people to be entrepreneurs too and funded youth centres.
Tributes to him are all over the many social media platforms and news outlets sent by people in the music industry, fans, and politicians, including Prince Charles.
Heartfelt condolences are sent to his family and close friends. He will be sorely missed.
Written by Sharon RM Stevens