SB.TV founder Jamal Edwards goes Back to School: ‘Young people should realise that's when they can make magic happen’

The i newspaper is launching a campaign to help people return to their state schools

Share

Jamal Edwards, 23-year-old entrepreneur, Acton High School 2001-2005, London

As a teenager, what did you want to be when you were older?

I wanted to be successful. My main goal was to achieve success in the music sector. I understood music because I was a rapper, so I wanted to be something to do with the music. I used to watch a lot of MTV, especially the behind the scenes videos of music videos and one day I just thought, ‘oh I could be a director.’

How did you get into the career you’re in now?

Persistence and passion. I didn’t start out thinking I was going to be an entrepreneur, I just provided a service. And people have grown with the story. It grew organically and I grew with it. I did that by putting things on YouTube. I uploaded anything from music videos to me messing about with my mum. I uploaded anything and everything in my life.

Is there anything you wish you’d known when you were younger?

I wish I has known YouTube was going to be this influential. I knew I had found a niche when I was uploading because no one else was doing it. It’s taken me to places I could never have imagined. I’ve done interviews with Richard Branson and Prince Charles. I would never have dreamed of doing that. But I also like taking things as they come, so maybe I wouldn’t have wanted to know how successful it was going to be!

What advice would you give to young people starting out?

It’s important to understand that providing a service is what a good business does. Young entrepreneurs need to find a target market. I knew my service was to provide grime and rap videos to my friends. Whatever a person wants to do, it’s important to do it.

What was the best/worst careers advice you received at school?

BEST: To make sure I got an education. It always helps.

WORST: To have fun while I’m young. Being young is the most important part of everyone’s life. Young people should be more serious about their youth because it’s when they can make magic happen. Learn when you’re young, make the most of it. I was learning about my business when I was young, stuff that should be taught in schools. It wasn’t taught when I went to school and that wasn’t so long ago.

What’s the best thing about your job?

The best thing about my job is that every morning when I wake up I realise I’m in charge of my fate, which is such an empowering feeling for a young man in Britain today. It’s overwhelming sometimes, I get anxiety. I’ve actually been told to go to Yoga! It’s all about staying focussed.

What turned out to be the biggest advantage for you of a state education rather than private? 

I think the biggest advantage is mixing with all sorts of people. At a state school you can network with lots of different people, whereas in private education students only stay in one social circle. I have private schools, friends from state school, PlayStation friends, football friends! I have really mixed friends and I like that. There’s more variety. Also at a state school it’s not so segregated. At a private school you might be looked upon differently if you’re from a different area. 

Visit ind.pn/backtoschool for more information

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Project Coordinator

Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: The Organisation: The Green Recrui...

Project Manager (HR)- Bristol - Upto £400 p/day

£350 - £400 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Project Manager (specializing in ...

Embedded Linux Engineer

£40000 - £50000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Embedded Sof...

Senior Hardware Design Engineer - Broadcast

£50000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Working for a m...

Day In a Page

Read Next
The Lada became a symbol of Russia’s failure to keep up with Western economies  

Our sanctions will not cripple Russia. It is doing a lot of the dirty work itself

Hamish McRae
The Israeli ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer, has been dubbed ‘Bibi’s brain’  

Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire

Patrick Cockburn
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz