Xavier Rudd: The Outback Hippie

With his first instrument being his voice, Xavier Rudd began with the most primitive form of music. You wouldn’t have guessed it due to the 18+ instruments he is efficient in and plays during his one-man shows. As an Australian musical legend with Aboriginal blood running through his veins, Rudd clings toward this part of his ancestry for musical inspiration. Because Aboriginal natives do not receive the recognition Rudd believes they deserve, he has made it his duty to build the culture up through his music. His most recent album, Free Bird is possibly his most creative yet, including nature sounds and mesmerizing native chants that take listeners back to a time when people really connected with the earth. As a social activist and musician, Xavier Rudd has been blessed with the ability to connect people with his music and spiritual aspirations.


Since his debut in 2002, Rudd has consistently put out music that has created a timeline of artifacts that exemplify the personal changes he has been through. According to Rudd, his music as a reflection of himself and his own thoughts and experiences; the music and the spirit cannot be separated. He states in an interview with FaceCulture, an Amsterdam-based online music platform, “Although I don’t set out to portray a message, I think there are messages that are there that people draw from naturally.”In this statement, Rudd takes the spotlight off of himself and credits spirituality, similarly to what he does in his songwriting.


Aboriginal culture is not something that the general public knows much about. His music keeps this part of him alive. Social activism is prevalent in his lyrics and he has a way of connecting people through his sound. Spirit Bird is considered Rudd’s album of awakening. We can see why. The sound of this record is very different in comparison to his others, as he experiments with nature sounds and including aboriginal culture into his compositions. He describes his song Spirit Bird after having a spiritual experience in nature while in Northern Australia with a red tail black cockatoo bird who was talking to his that made him feel more connected to the earth. In his song, he describes what the bird tells him about humanity.


In addition to preserving the culture of his ancestry, Rudd is also passionate about environmentalism and the animals we share the earth with. “I’m inspired by the good things on this planet” Rudd professed to musician and blogger, Milky Tea Kid. In 2007, Rudd was dubbed the “World’s Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity” and praised for his meatless diet. In an interview with Peta2TV Rudd pronounced on the topic of the massive cattle farming, “My biggest problem with society now is the mass production and no one even considering all those lives that are being factory farmed for human greed. Makes absolutely no sense.” This mentality is also present in his song “Follow the Sun” where his lyrics state, “When you feel this crazy society, adding to the strain. Take a stroll to the nearest waters edge, remember your place. Many moons have risen and fallen long, long before you came.”While looking back to days where people lived in harmony with nature surrounding, Rudd makes it clear that minimalism will create harmony. You could call Rudd a hippie, environmentalist or vegetarian, but his intentions seem like more of a lifestyle than some pretentious title. His music transcends this lifetime and he has the capacity to touch the hearts of many more listeners.

-Devon Cotta