Shola Ama

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Shola Ama
Birth nameShola Ama Mathurin- Campbell
Born (1979-03-08) 8 March 1979 (age 43)
London, England
GenresSoul, R&B
Years active1995–present

Shola Ama (born 8 March 1979) is a British singer from London, who scored her biggest hits with "You Might Need Somebody" (1997), a cover of Randy Crawford's 1981 hit, "You're the One I Love" and "Still Believe" (1999) which was one of the first productions by the Norwegian producing team Stargate.


When she was 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 Ama's 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 No. 3.[2] Her third single "Who's Loving My Baby" was released in November 1997 and reached No. 13.[2] At the age of 18, Shola Ama released her debut album Much Love (1997).

In May 1997, Ama 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, Ama won a Brit Award for Best British Female and two MOBO Awards for Best Newcomer and Best R&B Act.[3]

In 1999, 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, Ama took a break from recording.[4][5]

In 2002, Ama 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, Ama 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 No. 8 on the UK chart.

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

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.[6] 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, 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.[7]

In 2013, Ama narrated on the show My Crazy Jamaican Life.

In October 2015, Ama 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".




As main artist[edit]

Year Title Chart positions Album
1995 "Celebrate"
1997 "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" (featuring Craig Armstrong)
1999 "Still Believe"
In Return
2000 "Imagine"
2002 "This I Promise You" (with D'Influence and D-Vas)
"Symphony" (featuring Moïse)

As featured artist[edit]

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


  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 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. {{cite web}}: 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 9 February 2010. Retrieved 1 July 2008.
  6. ^ "Perempay & Dee feat. Shola Ama – DJ Play". Buzzin Electronic Music. Archived from the original on 27 February 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
  7. ^ "Westwood – Wiley introducing the A-List (Radio 1)". YouTube. 4 March 2010. Archived from the original on 12 January 2016. Retrieved 28 November 2016.
  8. ^ a b c d "Shola Ama | full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 30 June 2020.
  9. ^ "British album certifications – Shola Ama – Much Love". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 30 June 2020.Select albums in the Format field. Type Much Love in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  10. ^ a b c d e "Discographie Shola Ama". Retrieved 30 June 2020.
  11. ^ "Offizielle Deutsche Charts". Offizielle Deutsche Charts. Archived from the original on 11 April 2016. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
  12. ^ a b "The Irish Charts: Search for "Shola Ama"". Retrieved 30 June 2020.
  13. ^ a b "Discografie Shola Ama". Retrieved 30 June 2020.
  14. ^ a b "Discography Shola Ama". Retrieved 30 June 2020.