Jamal Edwards 'overwhelmed' to be made MBE in New Year Honours list

31/12/14

Jamal Edwards

The online entrepreneur who helped launch the career of Ed Sheeran says he is "overwhelmed" to be made an MBE.

But Jamal Edwards says he kept news of the honour from his grandmother.

The 24-year-old was a teenager when he decided to launch youth broadcasting and production film SB.TV to upload clips he recorded of his friends performing on the estate where he lived in Acton, west London.

Less than a decade later, he's now worth around £8m.

Jamal has also worked with the likes of Jessie J and Emeli Sande as well as Ed Sheeran.

After being made an MBE in the New Year Honours list for services to music, he said: "I'm overwhelmed. My gran doesn't know yet. My mum and dad know but that's it.

Sir Richard Branson and Jamal Edwards
Image caption Jamal Edwards says he counts Sir Richard Branson as a friend

"She is going to be the most over the moon. I want her to see it before I tell her."

Jamal says he started SB.TV to give his friends a platform.

"It was a frustration of going to school and everyone talking about: 'How do we get our videos on MTV?'

"YouTube was like a year old. I was like, 'I've got a camera for Christmas, I'm going to start filming people and uploading it.'

"Everyone was looking at me like, 'What are you doing, like you can compete with these major corporations' but I think I was early enough to believe that I could make a change."

He describes his working relationship with musicians as "symbiotic".

"Fifty per cent is the talent and 50% is the platform," he said.

"I try to focus on people that haven't got the platform. As well as getting a really well-known artist I want to get the up-and-coming ones as well."

There are also OBEs for James Corden and Sheridan Smith, who once dated, as well as MBEs for boxer Patrick Barnes and judo star Euan Burton, who both won gold medals at this year's Commonwealth Games.

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