Xavier Naidoo Bookmark and Share


2 October 1971

Born in Mannheim as  Xavier Kurt Naidoo he has German, Indian, South-african and Arabian blood in him. Being of dark skin he was often bullied at school which brought him to learn kick boxing. His first musical experiences he made in school and church choirs. He was a member of the Celebration Gospel Choir, with whom he recorded a CD, and the regional band Just 4 Music. In between musical aspirations he worked as a cook, a swimsuitmodel and DJ in the Milk club. After saving some money he went to the USA where he took the stage name Kobra and recorded his first solo album ‘Seeing Is Believing’ in 1993. Without much success he returned to Germany in 1994 to join the Rödelheim Hartreim projekt of the Frankfurt producers Moses Pelham and Thomas Hofmann as background singer. There he was discovered by the label 3p and signed as a solo star. With singer Sabrina Setlur he recorded in the same year the single ‘Freisein’. The relationship with 3p iced however when Naidoo started performing with the Söhnen Mannheims.

In 1998 Naidoo released his first German sung solo album called ’Nicht von dieser Welt’.  Anxious to go on tour he found his recordlabel not to support that idea. In effect Naidoo set up his first German tour on his own with the help of label 3P. By 1999 he performed for more then 300.000 people. The album was awarded that year with an Echo award and sold one million copies. He also records the themesong ’ Sie sieht mich nicht’ for the movie ’Asterix & Obelix gegen Ceasar’. His rising career is paused however for possession of 48 grams of hashish and driving without a license. In November 2000 he was sentenced to 20 months' imprisonment and a fine of 100,000 marks. Four years after his previous album Naidoo is able to release ‘Zwischenspiel – Alles für den Herrn’ in 2002. The album shot to the top of the charts. In 2003 he sings on the single ’Ich kenne nichts (das so schön ist wie du)’ from the Wu Tan album ’The World According to RZA’. In 2005 his third album took Naidoo on a lenghty tour across (German-speaking) Europe. His fame also took him to write and produce a song for Katja Ebsteins album ’Witkiewicz’. In July 2006 he sang on the occasion of welcoming the German national football team after the World Cup in Berlin. The single ‘Danke’ was released as a tribute to the team. In 2007, Xavier Naidoo took a break from his solo work to focus on several musical projects by other artists. In the same year he did a children’s audiobook in an adaptation of ‘Peter & the wolf’. In 2008 he teamed up again with the Söhnen Mannheims for an MTV Unplugged session. This resulted a year later in a joined tour, the ’IZ ON/Alles kann besser werden Tour’, supporting both new albums. The same year he also works together with Greek singer Vicky Leandros for which he produces and writes her album ’Möge der himmel’. In 2012 he teams up with rapper Kool Savas for the album 'Gespaltene Persönlichkeit', the duo scores a huge hit with the single 'Schau nicht mehr zurück'. At the start of 2013 he experiments with dubstep under the alias Der Xer. Followed a few months later by an album under his own name, made with indiepop guitarist Jules Kalmbacher.

On the web:

- Xavier's official website: http://www.xavier.de/

If you like this, you probably like.. / european counterparts:

MC Solaar (France)

What do we think:

DB: In our feature on the origins of European Hip Hop we stated that "European rap is less gangsta rap in Western Europe (violent style of rap discriminating women) and kept closer to the positive message of the original Zulu Nation movement: social responsibility, culture and peace". If there is one artist that underlines this it is Xavier. With his soulfull voice and carefully arranged beats and music he is from another planet compared to the harsh sounds coming from overseas. His style is unmistakebly European and although sometimes a bit overconvinced of himself an artists with a great voice, good heart and integrity.


- Seeing Is Believing (as Kobra) – 1993

♪♪ - Nicht von dieser Welt – 1998

♪♪♪ - Zwischenspiel – Alles für den Herrn – 2002

…Alles Gute vor uns…(live) – 2003

♪♪♪ - Telegramm für X – 2005

- Wettsingen in Schwetzingen – MTV Unplugged – 2008

♪♪♪♪ - Alles kann besser werden  - 2009

♪♪♪ - Gespaltene Persönlichkeit (as Xavas) - 2012

♪♪½ - Mørdmusik (as Der Xer) - 2013

♪♪♪ - Bei meiner seele - 2013

♪♪♪♪♪ = outstanding album, an absolute must-have
♪♪♪♪ = great album, highly recomended
♪♪♪ = nice album
♪♪ = be careful, requires listening before buying
♪ = best to be avoided


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