Xavier Naidoo Biography
Xavier Kurt Naidoo , also known by his stage name Kobra, is a German Soul and R&B singer/songwriter, record producer, and occasional actor. He was born in October 2, 1971. He is a founding member of the German band Söhne Mannheims, and started two record labels, Beats Around the Bush and Naidoo Records. Naidoo also has a successful solo career.
Xavier Naidoo Career
Born and raised in Mannheim to South African parents of Indian, German and Irish descent, Naidoo worked in several jobs in the food and music industries before relocating to the United States in the early 1990s, where he released his first full-length English-language album Seeing Is Believing under his stage name Kobra in 1994. He currently resides in his native Germany.
After working as a backup singer for the Rödelheim Hartreim Projekt and 3P label mates Sabrina Setlur and Illmat!c, Naidoo released his first German language album Nicht von dieser Welt in 1998, for which he won an ECHO Award and an MTV Europe Music Award. Selling more than one million copies in total, it produced six singles, including “Seine Straßen” and “Sie sieht mich nicht”, the latter of which served as the theme song for Astérix & Obélix Take on Caesar in 1999. After his highly publicized departure from 3P, his third studio album Zwischenspiel – Alles für den Herrn was released in 2002. It spawned the top five hit singles “Wo willst du hin?” and “Abschied nehmen” and led to a collaboration with Wu-Tang Clan member and producer RZA, with whom he released his first number-one single “Ich kenne nichts (das so schön ist wie du)” in 2003.
Known for his soulful voice and his Christian lyrics, he has collaborated with several famous artists such as Deborah Cox and Swiss artist Stress. Naidoo was with Söhne Mannheims (Sons of Mannheim) earlier before he became famous, after his popularity increased he went back to the band and wanted to help them to become famous too, which worked. Nowadays he switches back and forth with doing some solo music or recording an album and going on tour with Söhne Mannheims. He joined groups like Brothers Keepers and the charity project (Signs of the Times) in the early 2013.
He also collaborated in Xavas, a duo formation with Kool Savas, a Turkish-German rapper in the album Gespaltene Persönlichkeit, in 2012. The two had already worked together on a number of other releases. In the year 2013, Xavier released “Eye Opener” on the vocal collaboration album “Features” by Kris Menace.
Xavier Naidoo Wife
There is no record of Xavier being married.
Xavier Naidoo Ex-Girlfriend
He has one ex-girlfriend by the name Stefanie Johst.
Xavier Naidoo Parents
His parents are Eugene Naidoo and Rausammy Naidoo. His mother is South African of Arabic descent while his father is also South African of Indian and German descent.
Xavier Naidoo Studio albums
- Seeing Is Believing (1993)
- Nicht von dieser Welt (1998)
- Zwischenspiel / Alles für den Herrn (2002)
- Telegramm für X (2005)
- Alles kann besser werden (2009)
- Mordsmusik (2013) (as Der Xer)
- Bei meiner Seele (2013)
- Tanzmusik (Xavier lebt hier nicht mehr) (2014) (as Der Xer)
- Nicht Von Dieser Welt 2 (2016)
- Für Dich. (2017)
- Live (1999)
- Alles Gute vor uns (2003)
- Wettsingen in Schwetzingen – MTV Unplugged (2008)
- Alles kann besser werden – Live in Oberhausen (2010)
Xavier Naidoo Awards
- 1999: MTV Europe Music Award – “Best German Act”
- 2000: ECHO – “Best National Male Artist – Rock/Pop”
- 2002: Goldene Stimmgabel
- 2002: Comet – “Best Act National”
- 2002: MTV Europe Music Award – “Best German Act”
- 2004: Amadeus Award – “Record of The Year” for “Ich kenne nichts (Das so schön ist wie Du)”
- 2006: Goldene Kamera – “Pop National”
- 2006: ECHO – “Best National Male Artist – Rock/Pop”
- 2014: Das Goldene Brett vorm Kopf (“Golden blockhead”) for the “most astonishing pseudo-scientific rubbish
Xavier Naidoo Songs
- Dieser Weg
- Abschied nehmen
- Alles kann besser werden
- Wo willst du hin?
- Was wir alleine nicht schaffen
- Bitte hör nicht auf zu Träumen
- Halte Durch
- Sie sieht mich nicht
- Bevor du gehst
- Führ mich ans Licht
- Ich Brauche Dich
- 000 Meilen
- Bei meiner Seele
- Zeilen aus Gold
- Sag es laut
- Seine Strassen
- Ich kenne nichts
- Hört, Hört
- Der letzte Blick
- Bist du am Leben interessiert
- Nicht von dieser Welt
- Mut Zur Veränderung
- Bitte frag’ mich nicht
- Ich kann Dich sehen
- Wir haben alles Gute vor uns
- Raus aus dem Reichstag
Xavier Naidoo YouTube Video
You have been active in the music scene since 1995. What’s the secret of your success?
Xavier Naidoo: I think it was primarily the German language that made us unique. It was not only giving Germany soul music. It was giving the Germans a piece of soul back. After the Second World War it just didn’t feel right to sing in German or to have lyrics with a proper meaning sung in Germany. People felt awkward when they traveled abroad, not wanting to say they were German, so how on earth would you expect to find decent German music?
There was a lot of English and American music around, but I wanted to give Germans lyrics they could understand, so they could learn to handle pop music.
Xavier Naidoo: The great thing about pop is to be able to read between the lines and identify with the song. We were missing out on that. I grew up speaking English and German, so I had the privilege of being able to read between the lines. I loved Prince and Massive Attack and Soul II Soul! And all the drum and bass stuff. I felt so at home in that scene.
I wanted to give people that joy of understanding and identifying with what I was singing. So we started to do it ourselves.
Is there something special about the German fan base?
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Xavier Naidoo: What I’ve come to realize over the last few decades is that once you are in the German fans’ hearts, they will never ever let you out again. I mean look at people like David Hasselhoff. He was never as popular in his own country as he was in Germany. When he did his recent album and tour here, everybody was back supporting him like in the old days. You’d never find that anywhere else.
There are about a hundred million German speaking people in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, so the market is immense. If you can reach out to them with a love song or whatever, then that is great.
What’s wrong with the local music scene? If you look at places like the UK, everybody seems to either have a band or manage one. Isn’t there enough interest in Germany, or is the market too small?
Xavier Naidoo: We never grew up with an entertainment sector. In the last 30 years it seems like this whole business was somehow cut off from Germany, or at least we didn’t take it seriously. It’s not like we grow up with pop music like the British or the Americans.
Only now are more and more German bands appearing on the scene, and more of them sing German. I’m eager to see where it will lead to.
But look at Sweden, they do a good job of exporting their music to the world. Even Iceland has people like Björk. Where’s Germany?
Xavier Naidoo: But then our radio situation is far less open and international than it is in Scandinavia for example. They play jazz next to speed metal and then you could hear an indie song followed by a pop song. In the UK BBC 6 Music will play all sorts of stuff outside mainstream pop.
Here in Germany our stations are split into different categories. And if you don’t fit, you’re either made to fit or you don’t get any airplay. Other countries have American series with subtitles so they learn to play with different languages far quicker. We are kind of in a bubble where we used to duck and hide feeling ashamed of our German identity.
It’s such a paradox. We don’t even have our own folk music. All we have is Schlager, which is a parody of German folk music with no substance, just rubbish. We used to have beautiful folk songs with wonderful arrangements and brilliant lyrics. They’re all gone or got lost through ignorance and peoples’ fear of their own identity.
There is this ever-growing ongoing discussion on music on the internet and illegal downloads. But you’ve always given fans the chance to legally download some of your stuff even before release.
Xavier Naidoo: I think we have to start living with the Internet. The question is where it will lead. Either we won’t be able to download anything for free, or we will be able to download everything for free, or there will be a completely different solution.
The main problem is that some people have closed their eyes for far too long, especially within the music industry. At the end of the day I need to have my music online. If out of the five million people that click on my website 500,000 buy the single, that’s great. Maybe there would be more sales it if I didn’t put my stuff on YouTube or give away free downloads, but maybe not, because nobody would have the chance to give it a listen beforehand.
There is so much out now, and nobody has enough money to buy everything, but lots of people show up at the concerts at least, so no harm done!
Xavier Naidoo: What we really need are places where young bands can play and organize gigs. What’s the use in renting a rehearsal room and practicing your butt off if you can’t play anywhere?
In Mannheim we already have a pop academy where you can study popular culture and music. We have a music park. The music industry seems to finally be recognizing the need, but more investment in popular music and culture is definitely required.
We also need music TV shows again. All we have are those silly casting shows, but no decent live venues for small bands. That just kills any development in the German music scene. But then again I like to watch these casting shows because they are the only way to find out who has talent in Germany.
Xavier Naidoo News
Sing my song: Xavier Naidoo touches us with “Amoi seg ‘ma us again”
Updated On: 1st May 2018
Andreas Gabalier “It was an awesome moment!”
One of the most emotional moments of “Sing my song” is without question Xavier Naidoo’s interpretation of “Amoi seg ‘ma us again”. For the first time, the host sings time in the Styrian dialect and puts a lot of emotion in the very personal song. Song giver Andreas Gabalier can not hold back his tears during the performance: “It was a madness moment!”
Andreas Gabalier can not hold back his tears
On the evening of Andreas Gabalier, host Xavier Naidoo chose a particularly personal title for “Sing my Song” 2014: “Amoi seg ‘ma us again”. In the song, the folk rock’n’roll bids farewell to his father and his little sister, both of whom he lost in tragic circumstances. “It has been a sad song for a long time because of this story,” explains Andreas Gabalier. “But after the concerts it has become a totally hopeful song for me and people are thanking them with tears in their eyes for signing autographs because they lose children in accidents or Grandpa because life is over.” With his soulful interpretation, Xavier Naidoo hits the “Sing my Song” stars right in the heart. Song givers Andreas Gabalier and Sarah Connor finally let their tears run wild. “I never cry,” says Andreas and hugs Xavier after the performance. “I do not know when I last cried, it was a hell of a moment on the show, thank you.”