Her first major exposure was in the 2002 Baltimore Idol, where she placed in the top 8. After the competition, DJ Rod Lee of Baltimore radio station 92Q contacted Campbell, and together the two cut a track, "How Does it Feel", which featured local rapper Tim Trees and became a local radio hit in 2003. In 2004, she released her first album, Who Got Next? on independent label Blakbyrd Music, which hit #92 on the Billboard R&B charts.
She opened for Kanye West at a Baltimore show and sang on a remix of Fat Joe's "Lean Back" which received some national attention. She began writing a second album in 2005 but placed the project on hold after signing to Sony BMG in May of that year, who had planned to release her second effort, I Am Paula Campbell, late in 2006. The release of the album was delayed, however, and it has yet to be released. In 2009, she released her second album, "Dreammaker."
In the meantime, Campbell won a Glamour magazine music contest and shot a music video for the song "Ain't Nobody Stupid", directed by Ciara. "Ain't Nobody Stupid" was written by Ne-Yo, with whom Campbell toured in the summer of 2007. In 2009 Paula started her I Am Paula Campbell Mini tour in The Dmv Area she also hired Local rnb/pop singer Dijohn Thomas and rnb singer Mishon Ratliff". to open up for her in Virginia and DC