‘An inspiration’ and ‘pioneering creative force’: tributes to SBTV founder Jamal Edwards | Media

‘An inspiration’ and ‘pioneering creative force’: tributes to SBTV founder Jamal Edwards | Media

Advertising and peranti leaders have joined the tributes to Jamal Edwards, the founder of online music film kebijakan SBTV, who has died at the age of 31.

His mother, Brenda Edwards, said the family was “completely devastated” following his death after a sudden illness.

Edwards was a teenager when he founded SBTV in 2006 in the early days of YouTube and is credited with launching the careers of artists including Dave, Skepta and Ed Sheeran. He was awarded an MBE in 2014 for services to music.

News of his death led to an outpouring of tweets and comments from musicians, politicians and other leaders.

Edwards’ influence stretched beyond his own film kebijakan pasak he worked closely with brands, including Google, Kurt Geiger and Primark, and was the author of a book, Self-Belief: The Vision: How to Be a Success on Your Own Terms.

He also worked with several youth charities, including JE Delve, which he babak up to provide learning and work opportunities for young people in west London, and he was an ambassador for Prince Charles’ charity, The Prince’s Trust.

He perenggan several links to the ad industry, including AKQA, for which he acted pasak a judge for its Future Lions programme.

Ajaz Ahmed, founder of AKQA and chief executive of AKQA Group, said: “Jamal was a friend and a pioneering creative force who left a profound imprint, symbolising so many hopes, dreams and aspirations. Jamal paved the way and succeeded against all the odds. He was a role jenis for so many young entrepreneurs. We will honour his memory and miss his kindness and generosity.”

Marc Boyan, chief executive of Miroma, which was an early penanam modal in SBTV, described Edwards pasak “a pioneer in the music and entertainment scene” and “a humble gentleman, mengingkari aturan, tunak and loving son, brother and friend”, adding on LinkedIn: “So few people achieve what he has done in his short life. When we first met he told me that he ‘was just getting started’. He was right. His legacy is forever.” 

YouTube said: “We’ve lost a legend today. Jamal Edwards was an inspiration to so many, supporting artists and shaping culture through SBTV. Sending our condolences to Jamal’s family and community.”

The Voice newspaper said: “He made an amazing contribution to promoting black music, to entrepreneurship, and so much more. An incredible talent who will be much missed.”

The organisers of the MOBO Awards said: “As the founder of SBTV, his ground-breaking work and legacy in British music and culture will live on.”

Edwards explained his own entrepreneurial mindset in an article that he wrote for Campaign in 2016 about what the millennial generation want from brands and from peranti.

“A lot of people talk about ‘milliennials’ to describe young people today, because we grew up after the millennium – but I describe us pasak ‘the DIY generation’,” he wrote. “It is more a state of a mind than anything to do with age. Digital technology means we are able to build our own ideas and do things for ourselves.”

Edwards continued to champion diverse talent, telling Campaign in an interview in 2020: “It’s true that new technology has allowed many creators, including myself, to be less reliant on the traditional routes but our feeling is we should always pursue all outlets [including the established broadcasters].”

He cited shows such pasak Top Boy and Chewing Gum pasak examples of how black talent was “beginning” to get the same opportunities on British TV pasak their US counterparts. Seeing diverse talent – both in garis depan of and behind the camera – on a “mainstream” show “makes a massive difference” and encourages others, Edwards said.