From bedroom to board room
His company turned over more than £100,000 in its first year, Richard Branson has offered him business advice, he’s talked politics with David Cameron – and he’s only 21! Source caught up with SB.TV founder Jamal Edwards…
How did you come up with the idea for SB.TV?
I knew of a lot of up-and-coming artists and I wanted to come up with
a platform for them. I got a camera for Christmas and I started filming everything. There were a lot of rappers round where I lived, and I just decided to upload the videos to YouTube. They got thousands of hits, so I decided to expand it – it just snowballed.
What does a typical day involve for you?
I try to film at least once a day. Then there’s loads of stuff like meetings and emails and trying to get bigger artists involved. The other day I got Kelly Rowland, the day before it was Mary J Blige. I spend a lot of time talking to record companies trying to get bigger interviews.
You’ve met with Richard Branson, Simon Cowell and Phillip Green to talk business – what advice did they have for you?
Just to keep going and don’t let any setbacks knock you back. They told me not to be scared of trying new things as well, to be open to new scenes, to keep up the good work and stay focused.
You also met with the Prime Minister earlier this year to discuss youth issues, particularly the riots in London over the summer. What was your take on the situation?
I don’t condone any of that at all. I think there’s a bridge to be built between young people and politics, and I want to help create that bridge so young people can have their voices heard. That’s what SB.TV is all about.
What are your hopes for the future of SB.TV?
I want it to get much bigger than it already is, take it to the USA and expand it globally – to keep going basically, don’t stop.
What advice would you give to young people wanting to start their own business?
Chase your dreams, not the competition. You’ve got to think about how you can be unique, what your niche is and how you can you differentiate yourself from everyone else. Don’t let the competition cloud your view.
Check out Jamal’s hard work at www.sbtv.co.uk
Who is he?
Jamal Edwards is the boy from the West London estate done good, and the brains behind the UK’s leading online youth TV station SB.TV.
The first video was uploaded to YouTube in 2006, and since then SB.TV has launched its own standalone site, grown a talented staff of young people, featured in T4 series From Bedroom to Boardroom, helped launch the career of Ed Sheeran and, these days, features interviews and sessions with established artists like Chipmunk and Example alongside new starts in the music industry.
Off the back of the station’s success, Jamal has recently launched his own record label, Just Jam Records, and is now the face of Google Chrome in the UK!