A natural-born leader and innovator, we look back on the career of the late Jamal Edwards.
Image via Getty / Gareth Cattermole
Yesterday, news broke UK music industry pioneer, Jamal Edwards, had passed away aged 31.
An entrepreneur in the purest form, Edwards was an established author, videographer, creative director, DJ and brand ambassador. Jamal was possibly best known for founding SBTV in 2006—a platform that helped to kick off the UK rap revolution—as well as being instrumental in the careers of stars like Dave, Ed Sheeran, Tori Kelly, Nines, Stormzy and countless others.
Edwards was also vital to women’s representation in the UK music scene. The 31-year-old gave Jesse J their first acoustic video and collaborated with everyone from Emeli Sandé to Lady Leshurr. Most recently, Edwards was a producer and advocate for the Channel 4 show, Unapologetic. The six-episode series was a talk show centred on Black culture hosted by Zeze Millz and Yinka Bokinni—Channel 4’s first show with two Black female presenters.
"We are thrilled that the pilot was so successful and excited to be producing more episodes with the extremely talented Yinka Bokinni and Zeze Millz," Edwards said last year. "Bringing through new talent is at the core of what we do at SBTV and as we increasingly move into the television production space we are grateful to Channel 4 for commissioning 6 new episodes of Unapologetic thereby giving us the opportunity to showcase more new talent."
Edwards was no gatekeeper. He was an advocate for new and emerging talent from the start of his career, partnering with the likes of Google, Depop and Mercedes-Benz, to name a few.
Today, we look back at Edwards' career with nothing but respect and admiration. It is impossible (and arguably, a disservice) to try and sum up all of Edwards' contributions in one article. So, here are some loving passages from those who knew him best.
Rest in peace, Jamal Edwards.