A true music entertainment pioneer and UK culture shaper left the building on Sunday, and his passing has rocked the foundation of many in the UK music industry and beyond.
Last night it was confirmed that Youtube star and SBTV founder Jamal Edwards had passed away, aged 31. Tributes have been pouring in thick and fast following the news of his death.
The son of Loose Women star Brenda Edwards, Jamal was awarded an MBE for his services to music in 2014. Described by his mum as an “inspiration” and the “centre of [her] world”, she has confirmed that he died of a “sudden illness” over the weekend.
He is credited with helping to kick start the careers of huge artists like Skepta, Ed Sheeran, Dave and Jessie J through his Youtube channel, but his impact stretched much wider than that – touching many artists in Manchester and beyond.
As Despa Robinson, CEO and founder of Birmingham-based record company B£83 Music wrote in tribute: “He left the door open and 1000s of us ran through it.”
SBTV first launched in 2007 with a grainy video recording of a rap battle, filmed by Jamal on a college excursion to Cadbury’s chocolate factory in Birmingham. This DIY aesthetic would go on to define the channel in more ways than one.
Changing the career trajectory for a host of underground UK artists, SBTV helped to make artists ubiquitous at a time when urban music in the UK was changing rapidly and the industry just hadn’t caught up.
Instead of waiting to get airplay on the radio or for a label to sign them, artists could pave their own way by getting onto his Youtube – and they flocked to him.
SBTV wasn’t the only channel doing this – but it was very much up there. Over the years, Jamal’s Youtube featured a huge array of Mancunian up-and-comers including DRS, Tobi Sunmola, Bugzy Malone, Shotty Horroh, Skittles, MC Fox, Fumez, Chimpo, Blizzard, Lady Ice and many more.
As Manchester rapper Lady Ice put it: “Back then no one was really looking at us Manny artists and being a female was worse.”
“In 2014 Jamal Edwards was the first person that gave me an opportunity to hit a major platform. You believed in me.”
“You have done incredible things for the scene. A true pioneer. Fly high.”
Harnessing the power of Youtube before others had caught on, SBTV successfully undercut the traditional music industry trajectory and launched a whole new generation of urban artists to fame in a way that took the mainstream by surprise.
As Guardian columnist Kieran Yates wrote of Edwards back in 2017, “[he] enabled and emboldened artists to make the case that they had a real following. He legitimised the voices of the streets.”
Manchester rapper Blizzard has credited SBTV with shaping his career, but he has also spoken highly about him as a person too – tweeting about how he was there for him at his lowest ebb.
Further tributes from Manchester artists have come from Konny Kon and Tyler Daley of Children of Zeus, who this morning tweeted “We should all make an effort to tell people while they’re here what we think of them”.
Manchester rapper and producer Chimpo described him as a pioneer and gentleman, writing: “Rest Easy Jamal. All the success he had n legendary things he achieved, my man still had all the humbleness and enthusiasm in the world. A pioneer and a gentleman.”
And a Mancunian reporter for ITV, Jam Williams-Thomas, said: “This man did so much for grime and UK music. I grew up watching SBTV to see all the underrepresented artists of the scene. His grind is unmatched. A real inspiration and a huge, huge loss to the industry. Honoured to share first names with you. RIP Jamal Edwards.”
Manchester night tsar and Warehouse Project founder Sacha Lord tweeted: “RIP the nicest, loveliest guy in the industry, Jamal Edwards. Shocked and very very saddened, A legend.”
Manchester’s Thirty Pound Gentleman founder, Danny ‘Falz’ Fahey, wrote: “Jamal E Edwards is a pioneer and creator we can’t ever forget in our culture. Always with the self belief and encouragement for our young people, always close to the ground regardless of his remarkable success. Rest well.”
Dave tweeted: “Thank you for everything. Words can’t explain.”
Vernon Kay wrote: “Jamal Edwards. RIP. Always someone you were drawn to. Learnt so much from him every time we met…A pioneer and a generous dude. Shocked he’s gone.”
Feature image – Flickr
Police appeal for information regarding ‘serious assault’ around Old Trafford before United game in October
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) are appealing for fresh information on a “serious assault” committed around the Old Trafford area earlier this year.
GMP issued a press release on Friday, 9 December, asking for members of the public to come forward and share any details they might have on the attack carried along Seymour Grove in Trafford around 1:30pm on 16 October 2022.
They go on to explain that “a man in his 20s was assaulted by a group of unknown males” on the way to the game at Old Trafford, adding that “it is believed that the suspects were also attending the Manchester United vs Newcastle United match.”
It remains unclear whether or not the assailants were travelling fans in town to support the away side but GMP are looking to speak to the men pictured as they may be able to help with enquiries.
As detailed in the statement, “the victim suffered a severely broken jaw, a broken nose, numerous cuts to the face, and damage to the nerves of four teeth which he is likely to need further medical treatment for.” Terrible stuff.
The authorities are continuing to investigate the Seymour Grove assault after having followed up on a number of lines of enquiry since the incident took place and are now asking for the public’s help.
Anyone with information, or anyone who may have footage/images, or can identify the men in the photos, can contact Greater Manchester Police on 101, quoting log number 1589 on 16/10/22; or, alternatively use the Live Chat service HERE.
Alternatively, information can be shared anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Featured Image — Greater Manchester Police/David Dixon (via Geograph)
Football fans call out ‘tone-deaf’ FA TikTok for mocking ‘life-threatening’ head injury
Football fans are calling out the official FA Cup TikTok account for mocking a serious head injury suffered by a Stockport County player earlier this week.
The Hatters beat Charlton Athletic in fine fashion with a 3-1 victory on Wednesday, 7 December, with Will Collar’s hattrick (the club’s first since 2019) sending them through to the next round of the cup.
However, another notable moment from the night was right back Macauley Southam-Hales’ collision with advertising hoarders after a shove from Charlton captain George Dobson.
As the likes of County fan Joel Ward wrote on Twitter, many online were quick to slam the clip for joking about an injury that hospitalised the player, the consensus being that it isn’t a “great look” for the FA.
While many reacting in the comments recognised that Dobson didn’t intend to hurt Southam-Hales by shepherding the ball out of play, the Stockport defender does hit the predominantly metal structure with some force and was left in clear discomfort following the smash.
The video itself has since been removed from the official account following the backlash but people are still reacting as the clip continues to be reshared on social media.
The clip was branded as everything from “disgusting” and “disgraceful” to “simply unbelievable”.
What’s most concerning is that despite the recent push to promote awareness surrounding concussions, brain trauma and even heading the ball – which, historically, haven’t been properly monitored in football – whoever posted the video on behalf of the FA didn’t consider the very serious nature of the incident.
As alluded to above, perhaps what makes the post even more shocking and tone-deaf is that it comes just weeks after Bath City player forward Alex Fletcher was placed in intensive care following an almost identical accident.
The 23-year-old underwent life-saving brain surgery and although he has since been discharged from the hospital, he is said to have a “long road to recovery ahead of him”.
County confirmed that despite being the all-clear pitchside, Southam-Hales was taken to the hospital as a precaution after he suffered significant swelling around the neck area. Nevertheless, as we know all too well, it could have been much worse.
As for the FA, they have now apologised for the inappropriate attempt at humour, confirming that they have removed the video from all official accounts, admitting that “it should never have been published and assuring that they will “review [their] processes to ensure this never happens again.”
You can watch the full highlights from Stockport County vs Charlton Athletic HERE but we’d recommend you watch Alan Shearer reminding everyone who plays football to be more vigilant when it comes to head injuries.