“I came into music to promote cultural assertiveness since all around me were people who are ashamed of their heritage, background and lacking a sense of belonging due to the European upbringing” Eddie Conta
Young Eddie Conta travelled to Sweden at a very young age from the Gambia to join his legendary musician father Demba Conta. Edi was first schooled in The Gambia before moving to the Scandinavia where he started education all over. “I learnt the Swedish language for a year before going to high school. It was tough because I was in the same class with children whose mother tongue is Swedish,” Mr. Conta said.
Eddie was interested in both soccer and music. “My father who serves as my mentor and adviser advised me to have a profession first and later do music. Conta soon got enrolled at the university where he specialised in computer software engineering. He now works with a prestigious American company in Sweden whilst playing music during his leisure time.
Eddie Conta spoke at length to Kairo Radio host of the ‘Talking Point’ Mohammed L Sillah on his life and career in music and computing. “I found music in my home, I grew up with it, but chose to do it to make a difference,” Edi said.
Eddie Conta warned that ‘being ashamed of one’s language, culture and sense of being is fatalistic and dangerous.’ He believes that, due to the lack of ‘identity and sense of belonging’, some Gambians have lost their ways in Europe and got themselves into all sorts of crimes and substance abuse.
Young Eddie Conta spoke his native mother tongue well and also sings in it. This is surprising considering the young age when he joined his father in Sweden. However, he explained that, ‘the fluent speaking and singing of the home Mandinka language was crucial in his everyday interaction with his father and uncles in Sweden.’
Eddie Conta’s central message is, “speak your language to your children, enjoy and be proud of your heritage, celebrate the best of our traditions and at the same time, educate yourself and get a better future.”
Among his songs are: Manyoo (New Bride), Siloo (The path) and many others.
You can hear Eddie Conta’s interview with ML Sillah on Kairo Radio throughout the day. His fabulous music will provide the musical entertainment breaks.