He made his first UK performances as part of the showcase for Earthworks’ compilation Palop Africa!, which gathered songs by a number of musicians from Portuguese-speaking Africa.
Costa’s most widely available album, 2003’s Paraiso Di Gumbe, was produced by BBC Radio 3 presenter Lucy Duran in Guinea Bissau itself and, despite the country’s rich musical heritage, is believed to be the first album ever recorded there. Problematically, however, Guinea Bissau was still in the process of reconstruction after the civil war of 1998 destroyed much of the country’s infrastructure. Nevertheless, Duran and Buena Vista Social Club’s Jerry Boys established a makeshift studio in a coastal nightclub, The Rio. Despite working predominantly with local musicians, Costa and Duran were also astute enough to incorporate non-indigenous instrumentation into their recording. The result was a gratifying and lovely album.