Last year, the industry was rocked by the devastating news of Jamal Edwards’ passing. Of course, his tireless work supporting new talent via SBTV changed the entire infrastructure of the music industry, but it was Jamal—the person—that will be missed the most. When the tragic news broke, countless people came forward to pay tribute to the young mogul who touched their lives.
One of the more high-profile among them was Ed Sheeran who, before all of his fame, got one of his earliest breaks from an acoustic freestyle as part of SBTV’s A64 series. Nestled between red-raw grime and road rap sessions, it was an example not just of Jamal’s ability to spot a star, but his drive to take risks he knew would pay off.
Yesterday, Ed returned to the channel where it all started for him to pay moving tribute to his old friend with an F64 freestyle, filmed at night in an empty Stamford Bridge (the home ground of Jamal’s beloved Chelsea FC). With Jamal’s name spelled out in the stand behind him, Ed delivers a heartbreaking ode to JE as he speaks on his grief and how much he misses him.
In the YouTube description, the SB team writes: “Last year we lost our leader and founder Jamal Edwards, MBE. It has been the hardest thing in the world to process as he was the driving force behind so much and such a bright light in all of our lives here at team SB.
“Jamal had a unique connection with artists and creatives and was happiest when he was connecting and creating. His journey began locally but took him on a global adventure on the way forming unique bonds. One of these bonds was with long-time friend and brother Ed Sheeran. From a tweet to a long-lasting brotherhood.
“With the return of the flagship series F64, Ed Sheeran kicks us off with a tribute to Jamal. At SBTV, we will continue to push and support British artists, bringing artists together in new ways. Jamal’s legacy will live on through his incredible achievements, SBTV and the Jamal Edwards Self Belief Trust.”