Born in 1978 in Victoria, Australia, Xavier Rudd took an interest in the music scene early on. Inspired by artists Ben Harper and Leo Kottke and taking influence from Hawaiian and Native American music, he began playing professionally in 2002 with a band called Xavier and the Hum, and eventually went solo. With this mixture of influences, Rudd has created his own sound by himself using guitars, harmonicas, didgeridoos, a stompbox, as well as banjos and bells. So obviously he’s a pretty talented musician to say the least. After watching his videos and listening to his music, it’s safe to call him an island man: he lives a simple life, and tries to persuade others to do the same. His lyrics in many of his songs include themes of spirituality, humanity, environmentalism and human rights – mainly of the mistreated Aboriginal people where he hails. Listen to To Let (2002), his debut album, and you can hear this constantly. Because of this record, he became one of the most iconic artists in Australian music, opening up the history of the Aboriginal peoples to others around the globe.
From here, Rudd recorded Solace in 2004, exuding emotions through his wonderfully played array of instruments that captivated his fans and other professionals in the music industry. With other albums, Food in The Belly (2005), White Moth (2007), and Dark Shades of Blue (2008), Rudd became darker and more emotional due to traveling worldwide and experiencing much more than what was occurring in Australia. His album in 2008 was by far the most dark, yet spirited and energetic record, but it completely reshaped his image as a singer-songwriter connecting with more fans on a deeper level, which is what every artist strives to accomplish (am I right?).
From his history and the history of his motherland, Rudd continues to tap into new grounds and a wider range of fans, conveying truths and information of which many do not know – especially that of the Aboriginal people.
Call his type of music what you want – except for bad, please. It’s informational, it’s beautifully played and written, and it’s emotional. It’s reggae mixed with folk and perhaps a hint of African in there, continually taking more and more influence while he travels the world.
If you don’t agree, perhaps the achievements he has reached will: His singles “Let Me Be” and “Shelter” landed on the Top 20 of ARIA charts, 3 songs voted into Triple J’s Annual Hottest 100 list, and Food in The Belly was an ARIA-nominated album. In addition to these, White Moth was a 2007 ARIA nominated album and a Gold Record, and Solace was a Platinum album. Finally, because he is a vegetarian (surprise, surprise), Xavier Rudd was nominated for PETA’s annual “World’s Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity” in 2007.
Rudd fights for many things throughout the world, and does this through his emotional tunes that are also vivid and happy and energetic. He knows how to connect to his audiences and how to spread word about worldwide crises that he is involved in. Give him a listen, yeah?