Shola Ama

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Shola Ama
Birth name Mathurin Campbell
Born (1979-03-18) 18 March 1979 (age 35)
Paddington, London, England
Genres R&B, soul, garage
Occupation(s) Singer
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1995–present
Associated acts A-List, Craig David, Devlin, Giggs, Mz. Bratt, Sadie Ama, Toddla T, Wiley

Mathurin Campbell (born 18 March 1979), better known as Shola Ama, is an English R&B singer, who scored her biggest hit in 1997 with a cover of Turley Richards' "You Might Need Somebody".

Early life and career[edit]

Campbell was born in Paddington, London, England, of a white father (Scottish and Irish) and St. Lucian mother.[1] She attended Quintin Kynaston School in the early 1990s. At 15, she was singing to herself on a platform at Hammersmith tube station, and was overheard by Kwame Kwaten, a producer at the FreakStreet record label.[2] 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 Randy Crawford cover reached No. 4 on the UK Singles Chart.[3] 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 and reached #3.[3] At the age of 18, Shola Ama released her debut album Much Love (1997).

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.[4]

In Return[edit]

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.[5][6]

In 2002, she was noted as a 'legend' at the World Music Awards.[citation needed]

2003–present[edit]

In 2003, 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).[7]

Shola Ama is the featured vocalist on the Perempay & Dee single "DJ Play". The song was released in October 2009 and got heavy rotation on the radio.[8] 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.[9] Further information: Wiley (rapper)#A-List

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]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

  • Much Love (1997) 4x Platinum, No. 6 UK,[3] No. 21 FR
  • In Return (1999) Silver, No. 92 UK, No. 57 FR
  • Supersonic (2002) Gold (Japan only), No. 126 FR

Singles (as main artist)[edit]

Year Title Chart positions Album
UK
[10]
IRE NZ NL FRA
1995 "Celebrate"
Much Love
1996 "You're the One I Love"
85
1997 "You Might Need Somebody"
4
9
8
8
10
"You're the One I Love" (re-issue)
3
45
93
81
"Who's Loving My Baby"
13
1998 "Much Love"
17
"Someday I'll Find You" (feat. Craig Armstrong)
28
Twentieth-Century Blues: The Songs of Noel Coward
1999 "Still Believe"
26
9
In Return
2000 "Imagine"
24
2002 "This I Promise You" (with D'Influence & D-Vas)
95
Supersonic
"Symphony" (feat. Moïse)
53

Singles (as featured artist)[edit]

Year Title Chart positions Album
UK
[11]
IRE NZ NL FRA
1999 "Taboo" (Glamma Kid feat. Shola Ama)
10
22
26
78
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)
8
25
49
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)
59
Watch Me Dance

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mixed Singes Page 5". MixedFolks.com. Retrieved 1 May 2012. 
  2. ^ Callan, Jessica (12 December 1998). "Dream comes true for Shola". The Daily Telegraph (London). Archived from the original on 1 July 2008. Retrieved 1 July 2008. 
  3. ^ a b c 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. 
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ "Ama ruined by cocaine". 21 July 2004. Archived from the original on 1 July 2008. Retrieved 1 July 2008. 
  6. ^ "R&B singer tells of cocaine fight". BBC News. 20 July 2004. Archived from the original on 1 July 2008. Retrieved 1 July 2008. 
  7. ^ "Sadie Ama". Discogs.com. Retrieved 1 May 2012. 
  8. ^ "Perempay & Dee feat. Shola Ama – DJ Play". Buzzin Electronic Music. Retrieved 1 May 2012. 
  9. ^ "Westwood – Wiley introducing the A-List (Radio 1)". YouTube. 4 March 2010. 
  10. ^ "Shola Ama Top 75 Releases". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 20 April 2011. 
  11. ^ "Shola Ama Top 75 Releases". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 20 April 2011.