It’s hard not to know about Jamal Edwards.
The founder of multi-million-pound YouTube channel SBTV, Edwards is an MBE recipient, entrepreneur, speaker and all-round music expert. SBTV hosts more than 10,000 videos focusing mainly on grime and rap, and Edwards is in part, responsible for giving these genres a second cultural wind by pushing several underground artists into the mainstream with his promotion of their music.
In 2018, alongside Go Think Big and SBTV, you guys made an amazing film about reinventing the music industry, called, Go Think Big: Headliners. We sat down with him for some words of wisdom and to find out more about his rise to the top.
Hey Jamal! Can you describe a typical day in the life of Jamal Edwards?
A typical day? Ah I don’t have one. Tomorrow I’m supposed to be interviewing Mel B, so then I’m back here for the Go Think Big: Headliners film screening. Then there’s meetings in-between that, so it’s a mixture of meeting people, thinking of creative ideas, and a lot of my time is spent travelling.
And how do you relax?
At the minute, I love a good playlist whilst I drive. I love going for long drives!
You’ve spoken out about overcoming anxiety to get stuff done.
How do you manage it?
I’m always nervous! Anxiety just happens sometimes – it’s hard to explain. For me I’ll just lose breath or want to run out of the room. I’ve got better at breathing and counting to ten to chill out.
Even when I did Wembley, it was 10,000 kids and I only forgot my nerves when a crowd laughed. Like when I’m about to give a talk sometimes I’m like ‘oh my god’. But I always find that when I jump on stage, laughter removes all that. When there’s bants, then I can relax.
Can you give any advice to aspiring young entrepreneurs?
I’d say do it for the passion, not for the money. Another is to learn about your tax, VAT and all that stuff. For a lot of small businesses when they start, cash-flow is a major problem, so you need to know about that to not get shafted. Finance, legal, all that kind of stuff is important. Don’t be afraid to ask parents or uncles or grandparents for help. Speak to those close to you first, before seeking external advice. You worry that a lot of people won’t believe in your idea, but you have to be the salesman, or saleslady!