The music world was left in a state of shock after the incredibly sad death of the SBTV founder and entrepreneur Jamal Edwards. The 31-year-old died after a ‘sudden illness’ with endless industry figures sharing their memories of the much-loved mogul on social media.
Edwards started off his career with the creation of his YouTube channel SBTV in 2006 and catapulted numerous musicians to fame after they appeared on his makeshift show. The idea for the videos came about after Edwards was frustrated that he could never find clips of local musicians online as a teenager and decided to launch his own channel.
Many of Edwards’ videos, which were shot on a £20 phone, went viral and the channel now has 1.2 million subscribers and billions of views. From Ed Sheerann to Rita Ora, these are the biggest artists that Jamal Edwards helped launch with his homegrown music platform.
Ed Sheeran went viral in 2010 after performing You Need Me, I Don’t Need You on SBTV. The loop pedal performance even included an ad-lib at the start where he shouted out Edwards by saying: ‘Playing for SBTV, for the new crowd, that’s you now.’
Stormzy was a long-term collaborator with Edwards and appeared on SBTV numerous times throughout his career. From a performance with Aaron Unknown, D Double E and Lady Leshurr, to a beats and bars set with Pepstar in a church, Stormzy regularly featured on the channel before and after he was signed by Atlantic Records.
Jessie J, who previously didn’t do acoustic performances outside of her gigs, featured on SBTV for a guitar-only rendition of her song Price Tag in 2010, a year before it hit the UK charts in 2011. ‘She told us she doesn't normally do these acoustic sessions except for her own ones so it's an exclusive so kick back & enjoy!’ Edwards told SBTV viewers at the time.
Rapper Dave performed on SBTV when he was a teenager six years ago and went on to win the Ivor Novello Award and score his first UK number one with Funky Friday two years later. ‘When I first heard Dave, I had to get him on SB to spray some fire as the realness he delivers is on point,’ Edwards wrote at the time. ‘He's only just turned 17, definitely one of the new youngers to watch out for in the future.’
Edwards was an early supporter of Rita Ora and was by her side for her first single launch and album launch: ‘My first ever interview was with you,’ she wrote on Instagram. ‘Our endless talks on music and the belief you had in me and so many of us before we even believed in ourselves…No words can describe how grateful I am to of been in your presence. Thank you for all you ever showed me.’