|Edd Bateman is a highly versatile songwriter, composer and a world class bass player. His music influences are varied and broad, his music knowledge and skills are deeply rooted into West African music and he has spent more than 15 years collaborating with African musicians throughout the world.
Edd’s music career began in 2001 as a teenager, playing on a borrowed bass in a Heavy metal garage band. By chance a Zimbabwean dance band was rehearsing next door to his family home in Tavistock, Devon and hearing his dulcet bass tones knocked on his door and offered him the chance to play bass player on their UK tour. Only 14 years old Edd signed up and his education in African music began.
Edd spent the next six years performing with the band at venues ranging from The Africa Centre, London, to the Glastonbury Festival, and later on around the world. Many fortunate encounters throughout the African music scene led Edd to travel around Africa and to reside in Senegal. He stayed in Senegal for a number of years and thus collaborated with a variety of West African and Senegalese artists, such as kora players Modou N’Diaye Cissokho, Seckou Keita and Solo Cissokho, Congolese guitarist King Fire, Senegalese groups Alias Diallo, Cheikh Lo, Orchestra Baobab, and Malian singer Salif Keita.
In 2016, Edd returned to the UK to put together his first solo project ‘Edd Bateman’s West African Love Affair’, an album featuring fifteen different musicians from eight West African countries, duetting with Bateman on songs he had written in the traditional genre of their respective countries.
Edd has just completed his second, self-produced album with ‘West African Love Affair’: ‘Diamonds, Gold & Mobile Phones’, recorded in the Casamance region of Senegal. Scheduled for a release this year the new album retains the vibrant percussive and melodic complexity of traditional African music whilst subtly fusing it with contemporary Electronica. The album celebrates a people and a continent rich in natural resources but blighted by institutional corruption, tribal warfare and exploitative foreign trade exchanges that enfranchise the continent’s most rapacious individuals.
Edd’s wide range of different collaborations and projects don’t limit to the latter: In 2017, Edd created the ‘London Astrobeat Orchestra’, a fusion band that interprets the songs of new wave acts such as The Police and the Talking Heads through an Afro-beat lens. An earth-shatteringly tight and uplifting live band
London Astrobeat Orchestra sold out their first four shows at London’s legendary Jazz Café, London. For the last year and a half they have toured extensively throughout the UK, Ireland and the Europe, regularly selling out medium sized venues of over 200 people. Their ability to reunite the African and the Western world through sound is unique. An album from London Astrobeat is scheduled for release this year.