Home Caribbean 'A' Listers The World Mourns The Passing Of Music Mogul Jamal Edwards

The World Mourns The Passing Of Music Mogul Jamal Edwards

by D Fitz-Roberts
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The UK music scene has lost a young and aspiring entrepreneur, author, director. Jamal Edwards MBE, the creator of music platform SB.TV died suddenly yesterday Sunday 20th February at the age of 31.

With his roots in the Caribbean hailing from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Jamal was a trail blazer ahead of his time with ideas of excelling in the music business. In spite of his mother’s efforts to get him into acting and drama he consistently drifted toward music which he clearly demonstrated passion through his rapping and filming of videos with friends that went viral on YouTube.

Jamal’s BTEC Diploma in Media Moving Images he gained from Ealing Green College encouraged by his mother, The X factor fourth place winner, Brenda Edwards was the start of an illustrious though tragically short career in music.

It is not widely known that his brainchild SBTV launched in 2006, played a major role in launching the careers of Ed Sheeran, Stormzy, Emili Sande and many others by firming them while they were starting out and publishing their videos on his fledgling YouTube channel.

For those who aren’t aware of the influence Jamal had, Ed Sheeran is credited with holding the title for the Highest-Grossing Concert Tour in 2019, plus his fifth studio album = (pronounced equals) topped the music chats in the majority of markets in 2021. So Jamal was a very influential young man with an exceptionally bright future ahead of him. Jamal at the time of his death was still close to Ed Sheeran as in December 2021 he directed Sheeran’s UK number one hit ‘Bad Habits’ remix.

His accolades and work in the community are too many to mention in this article but suffice it to say Jamal had big plans for his community as he set up the Jamal Edwards Delve (JED) project in 2019 intended to refurbish and reopen community centres around the country to get idle youth off the streets. He managed to open four centres which have engaged over 150 young people in three years.

So passionate he was about helping his community that he worked tirelessly to bring about greater awareness of mental health. Jamal did not shy away from the difficult issues and agreed to produce a documentary with The Guardian on the issue of male suicide, something close to his heart. The project took him back to his childhood neighbourhood in Luton where he met with many old mates who suffer with mental illness of one type or another. The results of that study were so startling that he decided to explore the effects of mental health on the music industry.

At the time of writing this article no details of Jamal’s death were released except that his mother posted, ‘Jamal passed away yesterday morning after a sudden illness.’ We may never know what took this super talented, caring and thoughtful young man from us, his work on the global music scene and most of all his work in the UK African Caribbean community will secure his legacy through the ages. So, one thing is for sure, Jamal Edwards will never be forgotten!

I close with a quote from Maryann Jordan, “Life can change in the blink of an eye. What we know, what we love — it can all change…’

From the management and staff of CaribDirect.com, condolences to Jamal’s family and may he rest in eternal peace. Feature photo courtesy National Lottery Good Causes

#Jamal Edwards #Grime #SBTV #Author #JED #Brenda Edwards #YouTube #DJ #Director #British Entrepreneur

D Fitz-Roberts

D Fitz-Roberts

D Fitz-Roberts is a multi-talented writer on socio-economic issues having worked in journalism across the Caribbean (Grenada, Guyana and BVI) in the 90s. He has worked in London with Black Britain Online, New Nation Newspaper and Caribbean Times. An academic with a passion for research on distributed ledger technologies in emerging economies he is keen to see the Caribbean embrace bitcoin and blockchain technologies to keep pace with the west. He writes periodically for mainstream publications and is the founder of CaribDirect.com. He is also the author of Caribbean children’s book LifeSucks! available on Amazon.


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