Shola Ama (born 8 March 1979) is an English R&B singer from London, who scored her biggest hits with a cover of Turley Richards' "You Might Need Somebody" (1997) and "Still Believe" (1999) which was one of the first production by the Norwegian producing team Stargate.
|Birth name||Shola Ama Mathurin- Campbell|
8 March 1979|
|Genres||R&B, soul, garage|
|Associated acts||A-List, Craig David, Devlin, Giggs, Mz. Bratt, Sadie Ama, Toddla T, Wiley Bugzy Malone|
At 15, Ama was singing to herself on a platform at Hammersmith Tube station, and was overheard by Kwame Kwaten, a producer at the FreakStreet record label. In 1995, an unknown independent label released a single titled "Celebrate", which was a ballad produced by D'Influence. Although the single was not a commercial success, it did draw attention to Shola Ama as an artist. On her 16th birthday, she signed a recording contract with WEA.
The single "You're the One I Love" was her first single release for WEA in 1996; it barely made an impact on the charts, only managing to reach No. 85. Her second WEA single, "You Might Need Somebody", remains her biggest hit. This Turley Richards cover reached No. 4 on the UK Singles Chart in April 1997. It remained in the top 40 for almost two months, becoming one of 1997's biggest hits. A re-release of "You're the One I Love" followed in August 1997 and reached #3. Her third single "Who's Loving My Baby" was released in November 1997 and reached #13. At the age of 18, Shola Ama released her debut album Much Love (1997).
In May 1997 Shola performed her single 'You Might Need Somebody' at Wembley Stadium as part of the build-up to the rugby league Challenge Cup Final.
In 1999, Shola Ama released her second album In Return. The project saw her working with the record producers Fred Jerkins III, Stargate, Shaun Labelle, Full Crew, D-Influence Productions and Ali Shaheed Muhammad (formerly of A Tribe Called Quest). Co-writers included Angie Stone and Babyface with David Foster.
In 2002, she went back into the recording studio to record her third album, Supersonic. Unable to obtain a major label deal, she instead formed a distribution deal with Pony Canyon.
Shola Ama featured as vocalist on the Perempay & Dee single "DJ Play". The song was released in October 2009 and received heavy rotation on the radio. She also featured on one of rapper Giggs' songs, "Cut Above the Rest", and later featured on the bonus disc to his album, Let Em Ave It, on a song called "Blow Em Away".
In February 2010, Shola Ama joined a new collective group formed by Wiley called A-List, alongside her sister Sadie Ama and grime musicians Roll Deep, Mz. Bratt, Wrigley, Margs, Young Kye and Kivanc.
In 2013, during Black History Month in the UK, Shola Ama narrated on the show My Crazy Jamaican Life. The show featured two white girls who are associated with Jamaican men living in England. It received mixed reviews by UK viewers of all ethnicities.
In October 2015, she released a new 8 track EP featuring new reggae influenced tracks titled Surreal on Necessary Mayhem Records, 13 years after her last album Supersonic in 2002.
In April 2016, she featured on album System Killer by Frisco on the song "Rocket".
- Much Love (1997) 4x Platinum, No. 6 UK, No. 21 FR
- In Return (1999) Silver, No. 92 UK, No. 57 FR
- Supersonic (2002) Gold (Japan only), No. 126 FR
- Surreal (2015)
Singles (as main artist)Edit
|1996||"You're the One I Love"|
|1997||"You Might Need Somebody"|
|"You're the One I Love" (re-issue)|
|"Who's Loving My Baby"|
|"Someday I'll Find You" (feat. Craig Armstrong)
|2002||"This I Promise You" (with D'Influence & D-Vas)|
|"Symphony" (feat. Moïse)|
Singles (as featured artist)Edit
|1999||"Taboo" (Glamma Kid feat. Shola Ama)|
|"Mai più" (Sottotono fea. Shola Ama)|
|2004||"You Should Really Know" (The Pirates feat. Shola Ama, Naila Boss, Ishani & Enya)|
|2009||"DJ Play" (Perempay & Dee feat. Shola Ama)|
|"Cut Above the Rest" (Giggs feat. Shola Ama)|
|2010||"Blow Em Away" (Giggs feat. Shola Ama)|
|2011||"Take It Back" (Toddla T feat. Shola Ama & J2K)|
- Callan, Jessica (12 December 1998). "Dream comes true for Shola". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 4 September 2004. Retrieved 1 July 2008.
- Brown, Tony; Neil Warwick; Jon Kutner (2004). The Complete Book of the British Charts: Singles and Albums. London: Omnibus Press. p. 63. ISBN 1-84449-058-0.
- http://www.mobo.com/1997. Retrieved 6 February 2011. Missing or empty
- "Ama ruined by cocaine". 21 July 2004. Archived from the original on 1 July 2008. Retrieved 1 July 2008.
- "R&B singer tells of cocaine fight". BBC News. 20 July 2004. Archived from the original on 1 July 2008. Retrieved 1 July 2008.
- "Sadie Ama". Discogs.com. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
- "Perempay & Dee feat. Shola Ama – DJ Play". Buzzin Electronic Music. Archived from the original on 27 February 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
- "Westwood – Wiley introducing the A-List (Radio 1)". YouTube. 4 March 2010.
- "Shola Ama Top 75 Releases". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 20 April 2011.
- "Offizielle Deutsche Charts". Offizielle Deutsche Charts. Retrieved 20 January 2017.