Shola Ama and Ms Dynamite in concert

THE music industry has changed somewhat since soul singer Shola Ama won a Brits award and two MOBOs in 1997, writes MATT TROLLOPE. Hits like You re Like The One I Love, which reached No 3 in the UK charts, and You Might Need Somebody, which peaked at No 4

THE music industry has changed somewhat since soul singer Shola Ama won a Brits award and two MOBOs in 1997, writes MATT TROLLOPE.

Hits like You're Like The One I Love, which reached No 3 in the UK charts, and You Might Need Somebody, which peaked at No 4, earned Shola rave reviews as her debut album, Much Love, went to No 18 in the UK album charts.

These days sales are a fraction of what they were in the '90s as downloads rule the business, but Shola is back working on her fourth album and loving and embracing the new-look music industry.

Ahead of her appearance at the Ladies Unplugged night at Stratford Circus on Friday, November 13, Shola said: "I've wiped the slate clean in terms of my previous successes because I can't count on anything on the back of that now.


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"It was a long time ago and loads of people don't even know who I am these days. I think it's a healthy way of looking at it, particularly as the whole business is so different now."

And Shola, 30, who is writing and executive producing the new collection, continues: "I'm trying to work with new up-and-coming artists and producers, not just the same old people that everyone works with.

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"Also, back then the record labels would think that I'd need to go to America to work with the right people, but we have all the talent we need at home, so I'm enjoying working with those people."

Shola will be performing at the Stratford Circus event, in association with the venue's Urban Development Project, for which she has taught and acted as a mentor before.

"The scheme is great and I was delighted to be asked to go down and give some advice to the young people who use it. I'm not a trained vocal coach so mentored some of the students there in terms of songwriting.

"Some of the singers have gone on to have success and one of the girls I worked with, Dayo, is the featured vocalist on MC Chipmunk's No 1 single Oopsy Daisy, so it's great to see her having that success."

Tickets for the Ladies Unplugged show are �8 in advance or �12 on the door. For availability go to www.stratford-circus.com.

We are giving away a pair of tickets to the gig - see this week's Recorder for details.

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