24-year-old Jamal Edwards, the founder of music broadcasting company SBTV, has become one of the youngest ever people to be awarded an MBE.
For Edwards, who’s self-made success story is both remarkable and inspiring, it all began when he received a video camera for Christmas when he was 15. He began uploading videos onto Youtube – then still a relatively new platform – of his friends performing music on the estate where he lived in west London.
Remembering when it all began, Edwards said: “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.’”
The rest, as they say, is history. Edwards began an unstoppable rise to success, fame and fortune which has now landed him into a media mogul worth an estimated £8 million.
The 24-year-old, who has worked with some of the biggest names of current British music – including Jessie J, Emile Sande and Rita Ora, is largely credited with launching Ed Sheeran into the limelight.
Aside from SBTV Edwards is involved in so much other work that makes him worthy of royal recognition.
An ambassador for the Prince's Trust, in July Edwards also joined Prince Harry and the Duke of Cambridge to launch the Queen’s Young Leaders Programme, which is a scheme set up to find future commonwealth figureheads.
Edwards, among other charity work, has also been involved in Bite The Ballot, a project to help young voters understand the voting system and what exactly they are voting for.
Speaking about his honour, Edwards wrote on Facebook: “I'm honoured to be one of the youngest people awarded with an MBE on this years New Honours list. Never in a million years did I ever think I would receive such an accolade. For me this is about us the YOUTH, with so much negativity around us it's hard sometimes to stay positive and fight for your dreams."
Commenting on how he has managed to successfully combine his passion and work, Edwards continued: “I am over the moon to be honoured for my contributions to music, honestly people anything is possible if you stay dedicated. I was forced to carve my own path, taking an untraditional route, part of a digital culture rewriting the rules & breaking down barriers. Growing up I've always had a passion for music, I'm privileged to be able to work with singers, rappers & MCs & talented people in general and be able to provide a platform for them to be heard."
Edwards revealed that he is yet to tell his grandma about his honour. "My gran doesn't know yet. My mum and dad know but that's it. […] She (his grandmother) is going to be the most over the moon. I want her to see it before I tell her," said the young entrepreneur.
Jamal Edward’s book ‘Self Belief: The Vision’, which contains a forward by Virgin boss Richard Branson, is out now.