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[NEWS] SBTV founder Jamal Edwards profiled in the Guardian by wearesme
March 7, 2011, 1:51 pm
Filed under: Music | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Jamal Edwards, the founder of SBTV was profiled by the Guardian newspaper this week in which he briefly discussed his rise from media student to media mogul. Read the full article below.

“I’m a rebel when it comes to filming,” says Jamal Edwards, founder of SBTV, an online broadcaster of music promos, video interviews and impromptu live performances from the UK rap scene and beyond. “I’ll film absolutely everywhere, without permits or anything. This is a guerrilla operation.”

We are sitting in the nerve centre of the operation: the kitchen of Edwards’s family home in Acton, west London. Waiting nearby is Tayong Azonga, a local rapper who, any minute now, will become SBTV’s next star performer.

Edwards started the channel in 2007, aged 16, after receiving a video camera for Christmas. At first, he trained the camera on his estate. “I was filming foxes in my garden. When I uploaded that, I got 1,000 views and I was like, ‘What? Let me just try something else.'”

At the time, grime music, the now ubiquitous hybrid of hip-hop and UK garage, was burgeoning. You wouldn’t find grime on mainstream TV channels – not yet – so artists disseminated videos of their work on DVD or YouTube. The space for an online channel dedicated to grime music was wide open.

Edwards started filming London rappers freestyling on the street, backstage at gigs or in the back seats of cars. The performances, delivered straight to camera without studio gloss and posted online within days, are raw and often thrilling. But Edwards didn’t want to restrict himself to local unsigned talent or the grime scene.

Recently, he and his eight-strong team have been filming the likes of Ellie Goulding, Nicki Minaj and Bruno Mars. Even Justin Bieber has appeared before the SBTV cameras. “Narrow-minded people are like, ‘Ah, he’s filming all these pop stars,'” says Edwards. “But I just shrug my shoulders.”

His attitude appears to be paying off. Edwards says the channel, which makes money from advertising, has racked up 50,000 subscribers and a total of 39 million video views. Last month, he signed a deal with Sony RCA to create his own imprint within the label, and the day before our interview he was hanging out with Simon Cowell, who said SBTV was excellent. Suddenly, the bio on Edwards’s Twitter account – “media mogul” – doesn’t seem like an exaggeration.

When I ask him what the downsides are of being his own boss, Edwards says: “Everyone who works for me is older than me.” He pauses and grins. “OK, the oldest person is 24, but I’m a young boss. It’s a bit daunting telling people what to do.” His friends think his rise from borderline dropout at Ealing College, where he completed a diploma in media and moving image, to budding media mogul is “mad… just mental”. He advises other young people with similar ambitions to “chase your dream, not the competition, because looking at the competition will cloud your vision and mess you up in the long run”.

Edwards says his next step is to go to New York and “work my way from the ground to the top, doing what I did here over there”. The competition will be stiff but he’s not fazed. “I’m a rebel. I’m not scared to do anything: that’s what makes me different.”

Now it’s time to see the rebel in action. Edwards and Azonga slip off and I catch up with them in the underground car park of a supermarket. Edwards is already filming a rapper from Margate called English Frank, who rhymes with apocalyptic fury over a beat pumping out of his car stereo. Passing shoppers regard the scene with total bemusement. When English Frank drives off, Azonga opens the door of his car, hits play on the stereo and turns to face the camera. He gives a shout-out to the channel, adjusts his cap and launches into a slick, motormouth rap. In a few days, tens of thousands of SBTV viewers will see his video featured alongside the likes of P Diddy and Jessie J. When Azonga is done, Edwards reviews the footage with satisfaction. “That,” he says with a grin, “was sick.” Source: Killian Fox at Guardian

Long may his success continue and SME hope his story gives others confidence to use their entrepreneurial nouse to pursue their goals.

www.sbtv.com
twitter.com/jamal_edwards

SME x

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[NEWS] Beyonce confirmed as Glastonbury 2011 headliner by wearesme

3 years after her husband Sean Carter aka Jay-Z caused a stir when it was announced that he would be headlining at Glastonbury 2008; Beyonce has today been confirmed as the final day’s headline at this years festival.

Rumours were rife this week that Beyonce, Coldplay and U2 would be the 3 headline slots and in a statement release moments ago, B has confirmed that 1/3 of the rumours were definitely correct.

“This really is the biggest festival in the world and I cannot wait to perform there. Everyone who attends is really appreciative of music and is in such a good mood that entire weekend,” said Beyonce in a statement. “I’m pumped just thinking about that huge audience and soaking up their energy.”

Beyonce will perform a 90 minute set on the last day of the festival. It remains to be seen whether this announcement will cause as much controversy as that of her husband 3 years ago. Personally SME think it’s a brilliant move from the Glastonbury organiser Michael Eavis. Beyonce is one of the worlds best who will put on an incredible show and pick up where Jay-Z left off.

SME x



[SNAPS] Lil Wayne Covers Rolling Stone Magazine (Jan 2011) by wearesme

Weezy graces the cover of the Rolling Stone magazine for the second time and in the interview opens up for the first time about his time in prison.

During his eight month stint in Building C-76, cell 23 at Rikers Island, Weezy worked as an SPA (suicide prevention aide), listened to a lot of music on the radio (oldies and Hot 97) and played countless games of Uno with his cellmates in the Protective Custody division.

“I’d bust a nigga’s ass at Uno,” he told writer Josh Eells. “We gamble for phone time. I’d take nigga’s commissary: Lemme get them cookies, lemme get them chips, get that soup.”
Eventually his cellmates stopped inviting him to games. “They’d be like, ‘Oh, we thought you were asleep,'” Wayne says. “Like you can’t look inside my cell and see that I’m right there! We ain’t got no doors!”

When Wayne sat court-side at a recent Miami Heat/New Orleans Hornets game he was upset that Lebron James and Dwayne Wade never came over to talk to him. “Them niggas never speak to a nigga,” he says. “They don’t chuck me the deuce or nothing. Nigga spent all that money on them fucking tickets … Come holla at me. We sit right by them little bitch-ass niggas. At least come ask me why I’m not rooting for you.”

In prison he read biographies of Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Marvin Gaye, Joan Jett, Vince Lombardi and Anthony Kiedis. “[Kiedis’] Scar Tissue was really good,” he says. “I also read the Bible for the first time. It was deep! I liked the parts where some character was once this, but he ended up being that. Like he’d be dissing Jesus, and then he ends up being a saint. That was cool.”

He spent his final month in jail in solitary after he was caught with an iPod charger in his cell. It could have been worse: He also had a watch with an MP3 player on it, but another inmate took the rap. “He was a solid nigga,” says Wayne. “Shout-out to Charles…Solitary was the worst. No TV. No radio. No commissary. Basically you’re in there 23 hours a day.” The only upside was he had a window where he could watch cars go by. “I used to sit at that motherfucker all day,” he says.

The full interview is featured in the January issue which is released on January 21st.

SME x



[NEWS] Ed Sheeran signs to Atlantic Records by wearesme


SME were delighted when everyone’s favourite ginger; Ed Sheeran took to Twitter to announce that he has signed a deal with Atlantic Records.

Following the massive success of his recent independently released ‘No.5 Collaborations Project’ which made it’s way up to #2 in the iTunes album chart, the previously unsigned London boy finally got the call he deserved. The album was reportedly the fastest selling album on iTunes since The XX; an achievement in itself!

The album is brilliant and unique and if you havent already downloaded it we strongly recommend it. Ed collaborates with some of the best MC’s around, merging 2 contrasting styles of music; his effortless guitar skills and vocals harmonising with the rawness of some of the UK’s finest grime acts such as JME, P Money, Ghetts, Wiley and Devlin.

Congratulations to Ed and we can’t wait to see what new material this record deal brings.

Download ‘No.5 Colabborations Project’ from iTunes.

SME x



[NEWS] Chase & Status confirm collaboration with Drake by wearesme

Well this is interesting/exciting…In a recent interview with Ibiza Spotlight about their new album ‘No More Idols’, Saul Milton, one half of Chase & Status, confirmed rumours of a possible collaboration with Drake stating it is definitely in the works.

We’ve helped work on some of the tracks for her (Rita Orta) album although until the album actually comes out we won’t really know which tracks are actually on there. We’ll be collaborating with Drake too which is exciting as well and there are more that we want to work with which I won’t mention in the interview, just in case they get called off or whatever!

SME can’t wait to hear the fruits of their labour!

Read the full interview at Ibiza-Spotlight.

SME x



[NEWS+SNAPS] Sleek by 50 Cent Headphones by wearesme

50 Cent, ever the business man, is sticking a finger in another pie; this time he has the headphones market in his sights and with it Dr. Dre and his ‘Beats’.

“On Thursday 6th January, 50 Cent will host a press conference to announce a new deal on opening day with personal audio company, Sleek Audio at the South Hall Connector.

50 is expected to announce a deal with Sleek Audio to produce Sleek Headphones by 50 Cent, his own custom line of high-end headphones. ”

They look pretty sick; we will wait and see if the audio quality matches that of Dre’s beats. If they do, and are more competitively priced, you might start seeing a lot more Sleek’s than Beats on your tube rides to work.

**UPDATE**  Video from the press conference added!

SME x



[NEWS] Matt Cardle’s ‘When We Collide’ crowned Christmas Number 1 by wearesme

2010 X Factor winner Matt Cardle has beaten all competition in this weeks chart to claim the elusive Christmas number one.

Matt’s cover of the Mercury Prize-nominated Biffy Clyro track ‘Many Of Horrors’ sold a massive 439,000 copies in the six days following his victory on the ITV talent show last Sunday, making it the biggest selling non-charity record in its debut week this year.
Also of note; Biffy Clyro’s original track entered at number 8 with a massive 40,000 sales this week. The power of the X Factor is unquestionable!

Rihanna claimed the number 2 with an impressive 100,000+ in sales for her collaboration with Drake on ‘What’s My Name’. Her steamy performance on the X Factor final definitely didn’t harm sales!

Facebook campaign contenders failed in their attempted ambush of the Christmas number one with Trashmen ‘Surfin Bird’ made number 3 with 68,000 copies and John Cage’s ‘4 33’ entered at number 21 with just under 15,000 sales.

So, congratulations to Matt Cardle! And love or hate The X Factor, you can’t deny that this is a beautiful song; whether you prefer Matt’s version or the original.

CLICK HERE to see the full Christmas chart

SME x




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