Long Live Jamal Edwards: Cultural Leader & Pioneer

Sweeney Gloria

By Sweeney Gloria

Sweeney Gloria

20 Feb 2022

We have lost an eminent part of the culture as we know it. Jamal Edwards MBE, pioneer and founder of SBTV [Smokey Bars TV], has passed away at 31, as confirmed by his team and peers.

Black British culture and our world of entertainment has benefited greatly from his blueprint. In a selfless pursuit to spotlight niche talent within our community, the entrepreneur crafted a first-of-its-kind platform that launched the likes of Ed Sheeran, Jessie J, Wretch 32, Dave, Nines, Krept & Konan and many more championed talents into the public eye.

What was most apparent to me and remained consistent throughout his career, is the progressive nature he possessed. Edwards began by using what he had – in his case, a gifted camera. It gave birth to myself and a generation of self-starting creatives who have also found ways to introduce the world to talents, platforms and even dialogue whenever we feel compelled to. Jamal’s purpose was larger than life and is one that transformed the trajectory of the arena of music we navigate today.

The outpour of gratitude toward Jamal is a testament of his impact – one that figures across British entertainment, from executive to ground-level, have celebrated for years and will continue to do for years to come. 

This is a shattering loss to the scene, but we will keep on ascending using what the legend has left behind. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Jamal Edwards

May he rest in peace.