Xavier Naidoo

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Xavier Naidoo
Naidoo Popakademie.jpg
Xavier Naidoo, 2011
Background information
Birth name Xavier Kurt Naidoo
Born (1971-10-02) October 2, 1971 (age 44)
Origin Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Genres Soul, contemporary R&B, pop
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, actor
Years active 1993–present
Labels 3P Records, Naidoo Records
Associated acts Xavas (duo with Kool Savas)
Brothers Keepers, Söhne Mannheims, Zeichen der Zeit & Ramy Sabry
Website XavierNaidoo.de

Xavier Kurt Naidoo (born October 2, 1971), also known by his stage name Kobra, is a German Soul and R&B singer/songwriter, record producer, and occasional actor.


Born and raised in Mannheim, Naidoo worked in several jobs in the gastronomy and the musical industry 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 backing vocalist 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 (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

In 2012, he also collaborated in Xavas, a duo formation with Kool Savas, a Turkish-German rapper in the album Gespaltene Persönlichkeit. The two had already worked together on a number of other releases.

In 2013, Xavier released "Eye Opener" on the vocal collaboration album "Features" by Kris Menace. [1]

Eurovision Song Contest invitation and withdrawal[edit]

On 19 November 2015, Naidoo was announced as the German representative in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016.[2] His entry was due to be chosen from six competing entries in a national final in February.

However, his selection proved controversial. Naidoo's right wing political views, coupled with homophobic lyrics in his 2012 song (featuring Kool Savas) "Wo sind sie jetzt", led to calls for his selection to be reconsidered. Within a day, an online petition had gathered nearly 15,000 signatories.[3] Claudia Roth, a vice-president of the Bundestag for the German Green Party, also criticised the decision, citing the poor timing, with right wing political causes gaining popularity in the wake of the migrant crisis.[4] On 21 November, it was revealed by the German broadcaster, NDR, that Germany had withdrawn the singer's participation.[5][6]

Personal life[edit]

Naidoo's father Rausammy is from India, who has half Indian and half German origins and his mother is of Dutch and Irish descent.

Political views[edit]

Xavier Naidoo has blamed the Rothschild family for German's 20th century history[7][8] and has spoken at a meeting of the Reichsbürgerbewegung, the right-wing movement that seeks to retore Germany's pre-1918 borders.[9]

Musical themes[edit]


Naidoo's music has been claimed to feature a utopian, pan-theistic ideology through which he expressed his own political anxieties and stances. Although he explores Christian, Muslim, and Rastafarian modes of living, his work has been asserted to be strongly grounded in Old Testament narratives and apocalyptic sentiments. Applying these to situations faced specifically in a " Black German "? context, Naidoo has called for solutions not from the state, but from cross-cultural spiritual collectivities. For example, in the lyrics and video for "Seine Strassen," the power of the state in terms of protection and surveillance is said to pale in comparison to higher spiritual powers.[10]

However his lyrics have also featured anti-Semitic slurs[11] and homophobic sentiments. His 2012 song Wo sind implied that homosexuals were paedophiles.[12]

Mixed German and Asian identity[edit]

Naidoo didn't engage directly with his own mixed German and Asian identity in his music, but he was integral to the formation of an Afro-German presence in German popular culture. Specifically, his work with Glashaus can be said to have originated a distinctly Afro-German form of R&B, one which addressed the issues faced by Black Germans without invoking Black Germans specifically. Not only did Naidoo experiment with sounds from around the Black Diaspora, notably working with RZA, but was also a member of Brothers Keepers, an explicitly Afro-German and explicitly political collective. As lead singer in "Adriano," one of Brothers Keepers's most iconic songs, he stands with the Afro-German collective, setting the tone for their message.[10]



  • Tatort - Die kleine Zeugin (TV, 2000)
  • Auf Herz und Nieren (2001)


  • Human Pacific (1995)
  • People (1998)


  • 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


  1. ^ [1] SoundCloud Kris Menace
  2. ^ "Xavier Naidoo to represent Germany in Stockholm". Eurovision.tv. Retrieved 19 November 2015. 
  3. ^ Schneider, Patrick (19 November 2015). "Commentary: Xavier Naidoo – Good Decision?". Eurovoix. Retrieved 22 November 2015. 
  4. ^ "Kritik an ARD-Auswahl:Grünen-Politikerin Roth findet Naidoos ESC-Teilnahme "voll daneben"". Spiegel Online. Retrieved 22 November 2015. 
  5. ^ van Lith, Nick (21 November 2015). "NDR withdraws Xavier Naidoo from Eurovision". escXtra. Retrieved 21 November 2015. 
  6. ^ "Xavier Naidoo fährt nicht zum ESC nach Stockholm" [Xavier Naidoo is not running for ESC to Stockholm]. NDR (in German). 21 November 2015. Retrieved 21 November 2015. 
  7. ^ "Antisemitische Liedzeilen: Xavier Naidoo verbreitet judenfeindliche Klischees". Huffingtonpost.de. Retrieved March 13, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Rothschild-Verschwörungen bei Xavier Naidoo". Heise.de. Retrieved March 13, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Xavier Naidoos Auftritt vor "Reichsbürgern"". Faz.net. Retrieved March 13, 2015. 
  10. ^ a b Weheliye, Alexander (2009). "My Volk to Come: Peoplehood in Recent Diaspora Discourse and Afro-German Popular Music". Black Europe and the African Diaspora. 
  11. ^ "Antisemitische Liedzeilen: Xavier Naidoo verbreitet judenfeindliche Klischees" in Huffington Post, accessed 23 November 2015)
  12. ^ "Germany withdraws Eurovision contender after uproar on anti-Semitic, homophobic lyrics", Jerusalem Post, accessed 23 November 2015.

External links[edit]