The astronomic rise of Jamal Edwards — from bedroom business to one of the UK’s top creative businesses — is infinitely compelling.
The freestyle rapper uploaded amateur footage of UK Grime artists to his YouTube channel as a teenager in 2006, and for the first three years worked alone from his bedroom producing content featuring the likes of Chipmunk, Tinchy Stryder and Dizzee Rascal. The amateur, ‘street-shot’ footage catapulted Edwards to prominence when SBTV was featured in Channel 4’s Bedroom to Boardroom series, which granted this young entrepreneur the coverage to lift his work beyond the confines of his London bedroom.
Now, the channel has evolved into SB.TV Global Ltd (aka. SmokeyBarz), the multi-faceted media platform which continues to focus its business on the roots of its founder: grime and urban music. Edwards’ business brainchild is now run by a small team of young industry professionals who pioneer new music angles with engaging, web-based content. Since expanding his operations, Edwards has broadened the scope of his business, diversifying into events with curated stages at a range of leading festivals such as Wireless, Outlook and Bestival.
This young entrepreneur has come a long way: His channel has hosted interviews with interviews including former Prime Minister David Cameron and Prince Charles. Edward’s entrepreneurial efforts have earned him a seat on The Guardian’s new technology conference summit, with the SBTV Youtube channel having racked up almost 700m views.
Edwards original claim to fame: he discovered Ed Sheeran, hosting his content exclusively over a year before the artist became ‘famous’.