Founder of R&B and Hip-hop channel SB.TV Jamal Edwards was a noted philanthropist and an MBE (Most Excellent Order of the British Empire). Edwards died at the age of 31in February and in a recent memorial, his aggrieved friends and fans have showered the late rapper with their love, respect, and tribute. Global pop phenomenon Ed Sheeran is one of them.
Sheeran said, “I really don’t think I would have been given the opportunities that I was given had it not been for Jamal putting his arm around me,”.
Ed Sheeran who, in his own words, was slogging day in and day out in the acoustic singer song-writer scene, got his first break when Jamal invited him to sing You Need Me, I Don’t Need You on his YouTube channel in 2010. The song would go on to become a famous single. That very video helped Sheeran’s manager and record label find him.
Ed Sheeran has said repeatedly at various places that he was just one of many talented singer-songwriters who just happened to be spotted and given an opportunity. Though Sheeran’s musical talent speaks for itself, we can take his word for it when he says, “I really don’t think I would have been allowed through certain doors if it hadn’t been for Jamal.”
Jamal was all about spotting talent and creating opportunities for them to shine. SB.TV has helped a host of independent artists to express their music to the world. Hence, Jamal has garnered one of the highest civilian honours of the British Empire, the MBE.
The memorial on Tuesday was also the first fundraiser for the Jamal Edwards Self-Belief Trust.
The goal of this trust is to help young people at risk of homelessness and also to help independent artists who might not have an entry point into the media industry find a spot. This is a continuation of Jamal’s generosity and his legacy.
Jamal had ventured into multiple entrepreneurial ventures carrying a vision for improving young lives at all points. Last February he died of a heart attack after having consumed cocaine and alcohol.