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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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[SME MEETS] Yasmin *EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW* by wearesme


Aged just 21, Yasmin Shahmir posseses incredible talent and is one of Britain’s most promising female artists.

Yasmin was born in Manchester and raised in Glasgow, but it was the city of London which would prove to be the turning point in her life and provide her with the exposure she sought.

Having moved to London at the age of 19 in order to pursue her DJing career, she soon received the recognition she deserved; going on to DJ for the likes of N*E*R*D, Taio Cruz and Eve.

Off the back of her success in DJing, Yasmin decided to pursue a career in singing, and went on to sign a record deal with Levels Entertainment (part of Ministry of Sound). She has since supported Example on his UK tour, featured on the song ‘Runaway’ with East London’s finest MC; Devlin and most recently went on to release her debut single ‘On My Own’ which charted at #39; an impressive achievement for a debut record. Yasmin is also currently working on her debut album with the likes of Jamie XX, Labrinth and Shy FX.

Having seen her tear of the roof dropping endless Hip-Hop bangers during her DJ set at Rock The Belles, we were eager to talk Yasmin and find out if in fact there is anything that this girl can’t do?
Our wish was granted and here’s what we asked the beautiful singer/DJ/model/superwoman. The last one on that list isn’t entirely true; at least as far as we know!

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW



[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




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