A matter of opinion: can we still listen to songs by Nena or Xavier Naidoo with a clear conscience?

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Of: Christoph Seidl, Jonas Erbas

Nena Xavier Naidoo music debate
Are we doing the right thing when we boycott the music of Nena or Xavier Naidoo? © Jan Woitas/Alexandra Wey/dpa (Montage)

The list of fallen artists is long: Xavier Naidoo has released music with rights. Nena splits society with her Corona statements. Can we still hear their songs?

“Don’t let the songs and memories take you away”, demands editor Christoph Seidl.

“Naidoo or Nena have no place in my streaming list”, says online editor Jonas Erbas.

There are artists who have created masterpieces and songs. But what remains of a work when the composer falls morally or even becomes a criminal?
The points of view of the debate:

Christoph Seidl Music Xavier Naidoo Debate
Christoph Seidl composes songs privately. He knows: What a musician feels and thinks flows into his pieces. At IPPEN, the 35-year-old is in charge of format development. © IPPEN.MEDIA

“Don’t let the songs and memories be taken away from you,” demands editor Christoph Seidl.

I hear the music of a convicted pedophile. I am feeling ashamed for that. Ian Watkins, lead singer of the band Lostprophets, has been sentenced to 35 years in prison for multiple counts of child molestation. Watkins tried to rape a baby and has been incarcerated for more than a decade. Why am I still singing along to every word of the song “Rooftops”?

The song has accompanied me since high school. 15 years ago – and I still listen to “Rooftops”: during sports, before exams. Whenever I want to achieve a goal in life. Before the guitars crash violently out of the speakers in “Rooftops”, Watkins sings: “Will we be able to say at the end of life that we’ve tried everything?” I was moved by this sentence. That moment of silence before the chorus. did you really try everything Then you can’t fail anymore!

“As criminals, we have to talk about artists like R. Kelly or Michael Jackson.”

I could make it easy for myself and say: You have to separate art and artist. In my view, this is nonsense. Because: The works of an artist do not run on a parallel track to the rest of his life. Man is always to be seen as a whole. The perpetrators wrote these songs. R. Kelly or Michael Jackson were looked the other way for far too long. We must speak of these artists as criminals.

With dubious artists like Nena or intolerable musicians like Naidoo, it’s about what they do to society with their statements. “What we can’t do alone, we can do together.” These lines from Xavier Naidoo meant a lot to me in the soccer summer of 2006. Since his statements on refugee policy, they have become unbearable for me. I think it would still be a mistake to ban these people’s music from your own life. Congratulations to anyone who can. I can not!

“Hear the music of R. Kelly, of Michael Jackson, of Xavier Naidoo.”

I’m one of those fans who stay behind when the idol falls. I’m not alone. Under the social post accompanying R. Kelly’s verdict, one woman wrote, “I believe I can fly’ was my wedding dance.” It’s impossible to move beyond a song that represents love for someone.

Hear the music of R. Kelly, Michael Jackson, Xavier Naidoo. The fallen artist wrote the song though. But the moment you associate with this song is yours alone. Don’t let the memories take you away – and never ignore who wrote this song. And what he did or said.

Jonas Erbas music debate Xavier Naidoo Nena
Jonas Erbas is a metal fan and has been writing about music topics for years. For IPPEN.MEDIA, Jonas Erbas is an expert on rock, pop, metal and hit stories. © IPPEN.MEDIA

“Naidoo or Nena have no place in my streaming list,” says online editor Jonas Erbas.

Xavier Naidoo, Nena, Michael Wendler – apart from my taste in music: They have no place in my streaming list. After all, with their tangled statements, they contribute to the fact that there is a noticeable increase in insecurity and division within the population. Art and artist cannot be separated from each other – as the word affinity already shows. For me, the tangled statements of the artist always resonate inseparably when listening to the art.

Also: Whoever consumes the music of these people via streaming even supports Naidoo and Co., since royalties are paid to the artists for every stream accessed. I definitely don’t want to support that.

Anyone who hears Richard Wagner must remember that the composer was a self-confessed anti-Semite.

You can’t ignore an artist’s biography while listening to his art. Anyone who hears an opera by Richard Wagner, for example, must always bear in mind that the composer was a self-confessed anti-Semite. Just because someone has created something “beautiful” does not mean that they have the right to be forgiven – on the contrary: Fame is always associated with responsibility. Anyone who evades this forces their listeners to make a responsible sacrifice.

By the way: It was not Nena or Xavier Naidoo who suffered from the corona pandemic among the cultural workers. As great superstars, they have long since taken care of themselves. They are the ones whose voices have gone unheard due to a lack of notoriety and yet persevered valiantly. So it’s high time to say goodbye to old listening habits and turn to those who don’t usurp their status to push through ideologies.

Vote! And let us know what you think in the comments!

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