The Bay Area born Michael Franti has been bringing our world exceptionally powerful, deeply felt music under a variety of names and in a wide range of genres for more than twenty years now. From the intense punk rock of the Beatnigs, to the deeply political rap he made with the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy to his joyful and meaningful modern soul music with Spearhead, and now as Michael Franti & Spearhead, this still young man has released an impressive series of recordings that have vividly reflected his status as a musical citizen of this world.
"As a musician and a man, I more than anything else want to be a unifier," Franti explains. "I want to bring people together through music and its unique power. And I hope that somehow that sense of unity extends beyond the music."
Active as a musician, film-makers, yoga enthusiast and humanitarian worker – Franti has a world-wide network of fans and friends.
In every way, Franti has become a modern day troubadour spreading the word with equal passion, whether he's playing to a packed theater somewhere in America, Australia or Europe, or simply giving an impromptu performance in some war-torn corner of the world.
"This film came out of my frustration with watching the nightly news and hearing generals, politicians and pundits explaining he political and economic cost of the war in the Middle East, without ever mentioning the human cost. I wanted to hear about the war by the people affected by it the most: doctors, nurses, poets, artists, soldiers and my personal favorite, musicians ... The purpose of my trip to the Middle East was to listen. I experienced great acts of kindness, endurance and beauty, and I saw the worst forms of violence, oppression and ugliness. The Middle East is a painful and troubled place for some and a beautiful home for others. I hope my journey has and will continue to bring about a much-needed dialogue about the region and the world."
Short bio and talk about I know I'm not alone
Franti is also the founder of Power to the Peaceful, an annual music festival established in 1999, dedicated to the promotion of cultural co-existence, non-violence and environmental sustainability through the arts and music. The organization is best known for its free annual festival, which originated in San Francisco and has recently held events in Africa and Brazil. Originally staged on September 11, 1999 and also on September 11, 2001, the meaning of the festival shifted away from being just about prisons after 9/11. According to Franti, the festival has grown to become about "the war, and giving the call to end all political violence and domestic violence. Everywhere we have a different theme, as long as it's happening in the local community."
Power to the Peaceful Festival 2008 @ Golden Gate Park, SF featuring Michael Franti and Spearhead, Ziggy Marley acoustic, Warren Haynes (of Govt Mule), Rebelution, and Kev Choice Ensemble (feat. Martin Luther & Silk-E)
Asked about his future plans for the Festival he said: "We're actually working on taking Power to the Peaceful to some other places. We did it in Brazil Dec 2007 (watch video clips here: Part1 - Part2), and we are working with some people on bringing it to Tanzania. We just got a call from some people recently who want to bring it to New York City, so we're excited about that. We always do it as kind of a free festival, but in Brazil, we did one day that was free and one day that was paid, and we used the money to give it to groups that were working in the poorest parts of San Palo, working with kids and bringing them opportunities in music, art and culture to not have to go into the drug trade, which is really the main thing that they have. I've been really happy that it's been embraced by other countries and we're looking forward to spreading it to other places."
In July 2007 Michael also released his first children's book "What I be", which is a visual and musical journey about self acceptance. It's okay to be just who you are and strive to be the best that you can be, by embodying the best characteristics of nature. Be as radiant as the sun, as healing as the rainor as generous as a tree.
This story first appeared as a song on the Michael Franti and Spearhead album "Everyone Deserves Music" and has been adapted in this book as a life affirming tale for children of all ages, shapes and cultures. Includes a read-along CD that contains a hip hop and African musical collage of the story featuring the voices of Michael, his son Adé Franti-Rye, and Youssoupha Sidibe singing in his home language of Wollof and playing the Kora (Senegalese harp).
|Say Hey (I Love You) from All Rebel Rockers © 2008|
Michael Franti's single, "Say Hey (I Love You)", from his recently released album All Rebel Rockers, is fast becoming the biggest of his career. Not only did All Rebel Rockers mark Franti's highest debut Billboard Top 200 Album Chart position, but "Say Hey (I Love You)" has now topped the 500,000 mark in digital sales marking another career high. Anti-Records/Universal Republic Records’ musician/activist Michael Franti has been awarded the first gold single of his pioneering two-decade-plus career for his infectious/clap-along anthem "Say Hey (I Love You"). The acclaimed musician is riding a wave of affection for the feel-good smash hit, which has just been certified gold by the RIAA for selling 500,000 copies. The song is making the biggest commercial splash of the artist’s influential career, with Franti and his band Spearhead also enjoying a sixty-point jump into the thicket of the Billboard Top Albums Chart for their acclaimed album, All Rebel Rockers, released earlier this year. The first single from the lively CD, "Say Hey (I Love You") is also making an unprecedented run towards the upper tier of several radio formats for Franti, currently #21 and climbing on the Billboard Hot 100, and closing in on the Top Ten at radio’s Triple A format and Billboard’s Adult Top 40 Chart. The single is #14 on Billboard’s Hot Digital Chart, with the song’s celebratory video drawing more than 2 million views on youtube ...
Before Christmas 2009 it has reached the platinum status - and more than 4 million YouTube views at FrantiV"Say Hey (I Love You) is a song about life's journey," says Franti. "No matter where it takes us, no matter how hard it may seem to understand at times, there is one thing we know for sure…we love the people who are closest to us." He adds, "People are smiling on this song because in these uncertain times people are connecting with what they value most, friends, family and togetherness. It's also got a hot beat and you can dance to it."
Hello Bonjour Live at Electric Picnic/Ireland 2006
Jack Johnson : FrantiV Episode 02 Subscribe to FrantiV at ~ https://www.youtube.com/user/FrantiV
Michael Franti@Reggae on the River 2005
Visit the official website to support Michael Franti & Spearhead:
And please support the last existing fansites:
http://www.spearhead-home.com/ - greatest archive of articles, interviews and more
http://powertothepeaceful.tk/ - greatest Spearhead discography
Sandra Reis ~ http://www.ipeace.me/profile/Sandra9
Joerg Trumpfheller ~ http://www.ipeace.me/profile/joerg