Jamal Edwards is something of an icon.
Ten years ago with a camera he received as a Christmas present, Jamal Edwards set up SBTV, a platform showcasing the most talented emerging artists in London which launched the careers of many of today’s superstars including Ed Sheeran. Time has passed and other platforms like LinkUp TV and GRM Daily have followed in Jamal's footsteps but Edwards opened the doors for genres like Grime to be accepted by the mainstream and accrued an estimated $8 million fortune by turning his passion into a legitimate business, the self – made millionaire is clearly an inspiration to any aspiring creative.
Citing Richard Branson as a mentor, he was able to break down barriers at a critical time and his achievements has led to a floodgate of young, hungry entrepreneurs pursuing their creative passions in the business realm.
Having taken a step out of the limelight, Jamal announced this week on his Instagram that he would be releasing a new documentary tackling the issue of mental health in the music industry. A high pressure industry which often treats artists like commodities, mental health issues in the music industry have long been suppressed due to the stigma around the subject.
However, during this 20-minute journey, Jamal bravely speaks to artists about their mental health challenges in an open and honest dialogue, even revealing his struggles of balancing the pressures of the industry. Perhaps the highlight of the documentary comes when Jamal converses with UK rap trailblazer Santan Dave who opens up about the effect the imprisonment of his two older brothers had on him. ‘The only word I can use to describe it is dark…the worst part for me was just be overthinking, the different scenarios, the different possibilities…’
Edwards also spoke to mental health experts and neuroscientists at UCL about the effects of mental health on the brain and why young creatives are more susceptible to these challenges (musicians are three times more likely to suffer from depression than the general public). He attempts a mediation class, addresses cyber bullying on social media and all of the daily struggles that artists in the industry have to go through.
A powerful documentary highlighting the serious issue of mental health, be sure to watch the documentary below and always pay attention to your own mental health: