Xavier Kurt Naidoo (born October 2, 1971 in Mannheim), 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 Zeichen der Zeit (Signs of the Times) in the early 2000s.
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.
Naidoo's father Rausammy is from South Africa and is of half Indian and half German origins and mother is of South African and Irish descent.
Xavier Naidoo is a 9/11 truther , blames the Rothschild family and is part of the Reichsbürgerbewegung.
Naidoo's music featured 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 is strongly grounded in Old Testament narratives and apocalyptic sentiments. Applying these to situations faced specifically in a Black German context, Naidoo calls 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 shown to pale in comparison to higher spiritual powers.
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.
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)
Sources: Last.fm, Wikipedia
Xavier Naidoo in the news
|Songs by Xavier Naidoo|