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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 productions by the Norwegian producing team Stargate.

Shola Ama
Birth nameShola Ama Mathurin- Campbell
Born (1979-03-08) 8 March 1979 (age 40)
London, England
GenresR&B, soul, garage
Years active1995–present
Associated actsA-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.[1] 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[2] 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.[2] Her third single "Who's Loving My Baby" was released in November 1997 and reached #13.[2] 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.

On the success of the album, Shola Ama won a Brit Award for Best British Female and two MOBO Awards for Best Newcomer and Best R&B Act.[3]

In ReturnEdit

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.

Despite having support from her record label, In Return was a commercial flop. Following this, Shola Ama took a break from recording.[4][5]


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.

In 2004, she featured on the track "You Should Really Know" by The Pirates, a response in song to Mario Winans' "I Don't Wanna Know" which reached #8 on the UK chart.

She also mentored her sister Sadie Ama, who signed her own recording contract and released "So Sure" (2004) and "Fallin" (2007).[6]

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.[7] 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.[8]

Recent workEdit

In April 2010, Shola Ama was a guest judge for a girl group on the Sky 1 television docusoap Pineapple Dance Studios alongside reality TV star Dean Rowland.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

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,[2] 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

Year Title Chart positions Album
1995 "Celebrate"
Much Love
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"
1998 "Much Love"
"Someday I'll Find You" (feat. Craig Armstrong)
Twentieth-Century Blues: The Songs of Noel Coward
1999 "Still Believe"
In Return
2000 "Imagine"
2002 "This I Promise You" (with D'Influence & D-Vas)
"Symphony" (feat. Moïse)

Singles (as featured artist)Edit

Year Title Chart positions Album
1999 "Taboo" (Glamma Kid feat. Shola Ama)
Single only
"Mai più" (Sottotono fea. Shola Ama)
Sotto lo stesso effetto
2004 "You Should Really Know" (The Pirates feat. Shola Ama, Naila Boss, Ishani & Enya)
Single only
2009 "DJ Play" (Perempay & Dee feat. Shola Ama)
Written in My History
"Cut Above the Rest" (Giggs feat. Shola Ama)
Single only
2010 "Blow Em Away" (Giggs feat. Shola Ama)
Let Em Ave It
2011 "Take It Back" (Toddla T feat. Shola Ama & J2K)
Watch Me Dance


  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ a b c d 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.
  3. ^ Retrieved 6 February 2011. Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  4. ^ "Ama ruined by cocaine". 21 July 2004. Archived from the original on 1 July 2008. Retrieved 1 July 2008.
  5. ^ "R&B singer tells of cocaine fight". BBC News. 20 July 2004. Archived from the original on 1 July 2008. Retrieved 1 July 2008.
  6. ^ "Sadie Ama". Retrieved 1 May 2012.
  7. ^ "Perempay & Dee feat. Shola Ama – DJ Play". Buzzin Electronic Music. Archived from the original on 27 February 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
  8. ^ "Westwood – Wiley introducing the A-List (Radio 1)". YouTube. 4 March 2010.
  9. ^ a b "Shola Ama Top 75 Releases". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 20 April 2011.
  10. ^ "Offizielle Deutsche Charts". Offizielle Deutsche Charts. Retrieved 20 January 2017.