Every huge artist Jamal Edwards introduced us to on SBTV
The music mogul died yesterday (20th February) aged 31
Jamal Edwards, founder of YouTube music platform SBTV, has died at the age of 31. For many of us growing up, he was a staple of underground music and introduced us to some of the biggest artists we know and love today.
As the old Chrome advert documented, Jamal got his first camera when he was 15 and decided to film some talented musicians with it. He started SBTV (“SB” stands for his rap alias, SmokeyBarz) way back in 2006 – but things really kicked off for him five years later.
Since giving up his job at Topman, Jamal went on to create a whole team for SBTV and the channel now has over a million subscribers. He was awarded an MBE by the Queen in 2015 for his services to music – as well as countless other accolades.
He was responsible for providing early coverage to some of the world’s biggest stars – including Nicki Minaj. So, here’s a complete rundown of all the massive artists discovered by Jamal Edwards back in the day:
Before Rita Ora became a massive star in the US, her roots were in homegrown classics like R.I.P and Hot Right Now. After her first couple of collaborations with DJ Fresh and Chase and Status, SBTV gave her a platform for those vocals to really shine. Even after years of fame, she still pops in now and again to provide acoustic versions of her bangers.
A baby-faced Jessie J regularly featured on SBTV with *that* harsh, black bob. Her live versions of Price Tag and Do It Like A Dude gave her widespread coverage as an artist – and attracted the attention of radio stations like BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra (back when airplay mattered lol).
Krept & Konan
Well before Kanye West took these boys across the pond, Krept & Konan starred in essentially every other episode of SBTV. From freestyles to interviews and more, Jamal Edwards was undoubtedly responsible for putting them on the map.
Skepta’s had an amazing career over the last 15 years, and SBTV played a huge part in his uprising. In the early days of Boy Better Know (his record label), Jamal was right there, documenting their gigs and getting countless interviews with the collective.
In his tribute post to Jamal, Dave cited him for supporting his career early on. The artists’ first freestyles (back in the early 2010s) were filmed for SBTV, and he’s gone from strength-to-strength since then. Yesterday (20th February), Dave said: “What a platform. What a man.”
Let’s face it – without Jamal Edwards, there’d be no Ed Sheeran. Ed was a sofa-surfing regular guy when he became friends with the SBTV founder. After doing some sing-rapping and playing the guitar in front of the camera, people began to fall in love with him. This led to appearances on 4Music, as well as coverage on Radio 1 and 1Xtra. He’s now undoubtedly one of the biggest stars of our generation – and it’s all thanks to Jamal’s platform.
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Featured image via Instagram.