At this year’s BAFTA awards, actor Daniel Kaluuya took a moment to pay a touching tribute to the late Jamal Edwards. Founder of the influential online video platform SB.TV, Edwards was a true pioneer of Black music, championing the likes of Skepta, Dave, and Stormzy long before anybody else paid attention. The music entrepreneur — also credited with helping Ed Sheeran in his early career — tragically died in Feb. 2022, aged just 31.
Taking to the stage to present the gong for Leading Actress, Kaluuya, who previously won the BAFTA Rising Star award, kept his speech brief before presenting the prize to After Love star Joanna Scanlan.
Kaluuya, who starred in Jordan Peele’s horror Get Out, Marvel’s Black Panther and moving crime-romance Queen & Slim was long-time friends with Edwards, and they supported one another’s careers. In fact, just last year, Edwards commended Kaluuya for keeping it real at the Golden Globes. Accepting the award for Best Supporting Actor, Kaluuya took a moment to shout out North-West London drill artist C Biz.
Born in Luton and raised in Acton, Edwards founded the music platform SB.TV when he was just fifteen, filming local artists on a camcorder and documenting early freestyles from now-stars like Krept & Konan and Ghetts. In 2014 he was awarded an MBE in recognition of his tireless contributions to music.
Following the announcement of his passing last month, countless artists including Dua Lipa, AJ Tracey, Mahalia, Jessie J and Ed Sheeran mourned an incredibly talented man lost far too soon, and paid tribute to the enormous musical legacy he leaves behind.