Shola Ama (born on March 18, 1979, in London) is an English singer who scored her biggest hit in 1997 with a cover of Randy Crawford's "You Might Need Somebody". She is half Caribbean (of Dominican & St. Lucian origin), quarter Irish and quarter Scottish.
Shola Ama has blossomed into the UK’s premier Soul and RnB vocalist. Famed for her angelic, soulful voice and ability to fuse soul, RnB, 2-Step and UK garage music.
Shola attended Quintin Kynaston School in the early 1990s, it was here that her passion for music and performing was allowed to blossom. Shola's discovery has become the stuff of legends. At 15 singing to herself at Hammersmith tube station and was over heard by a D'Influence music producer who was so amazed with what he heard he got her into the studio. In 1995 an independent label released a single titled ‘Celebrate’, which was a soft soulful ballad produced by D’Influence. Although the single was not a commercial success, it did draw a lot of attention to Shola as an artist and the result was that on her 16th birthday she signed a record deal with WEA.
Months later Shola released her biggest hit "You Might Need Somebody". This Randy Crawford cover blasted Shola into the main stream - receiving huge amounts of praise from critics and reached #3 in the UK charts, and remained in the top 40 for almost 2 months becoming one of 1997 biggest hits. And at 18 Shola released her critically acclaimed, multi-platinum selling debut album Much Love (1997) which gave her 4 top ten hits and went on to top the charts around Europe. Selling over a million copies 'Much Love' became the biggest selling UK RnB album, a title it still holds to this date.
On the success of the album Shola won a Brit award for 'Best British Female' and two MOBO awards for 'Best Newcomer' and 'Best Female Vocals'.
While ‘Much Love’ brought Shola success she was not completely pleased with it; feeling it was rushed, reworking her original demos. Shola also had little creative control over the album.
In 1999 Shola released her second album ‘In Return’. The project saw Ama working with top producers Fred Jerkins III, Stargate, Shaun Labelle, Full Crew, D-Influence Productions & Ali Shaheed Muhammad (formerly from A Tribe Called Quest) and co-writers included Angie Stone & Babyface with David Foster. Although the record company injected huge amounts of capital into "In Return" the album was not as commercially successful as ‘Much Love’ but received raving reviews, many classing it as the UK’s best RnB album to date.