Michael Franti

Michael Franti (born April 21, 1967) is an American musician, poet, spoken word artist, and singer-songwriter. Michael Franti is known for having participated in many musical projects (most of them with a political and social emphasis), including the Beatnigs and the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy. He is the creator and lead vocalist of his current independent project, Michael Franti & Spearhead, a band that blends hip hop with a variety of other styles including funk, reggae, jazz, folk, and rock. He is also an outspoken supporter for a wide spectrum of peace and social justice issues, and he is especially an advocate for peace in the Middle East.[1]

Michael Franti
Michael Franti and Spearhead @ Fremantle Park (17 4 2011) (5648207117)
Michael Franti in 2011
Background information
BornApril 21, 1967 (age 51)
Oakland, California, U.S.
OriginSan Francisco, California, U.S.
  • Vocals
  • guitar
Years active1986–present
Associated acts

Early life

Michael Franti was born in Oakland, California. His mother, Mary Lofy,[2] had Irish, German, and Belgian ancestry, and his father, Thomas Hopkins, was of African-American and Native American descent. However, his mother put him up for adoption because she was afraid that her racist family would not accept him.[2] He was adopted by Carole Wisti and Charles Franti, a Finnish American couple in Oakland, who at the time had three biological children and one adopted African American son.[3] Charles Franti was a professor in the department of epidemiology and preventive medicine of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and died in 2003.[2] Michael's four adoptive siblings are named Rebecca, Sara, Dan, and Matthew.[4] Michael spent his grade 9 school year at Highland Junior High School in Edmonton, Alberta.[5][6] He then attended Davis Senior High School and University of San Francisco on a full basketball scholarship.

During his time at school there he met a priest who taught him how to tell a story on paper, and soon he was writing poetry. He purchased a bass at a pawn shop and started creating music inspired by hip hop, punk, and reggae that was being played on the campus radio station, KUSF.[7] Franti also has four half siblings, Thea, Thomas, Charles and Arthur Hopkins.


Beatnigs (1986–1990)

Franti began his music career in 1986 as part of the industrial punk/spoken word band The Beatnigs. While attending the University of San Francisco and living above KUSF he developed a fascination with music and decided to start a band. The Beatnigs included dancer and percussionist Rono Tse;[8] the band released a self-titled LP and an EP Television on Alternative Tentacles records. The records received some critical acclaim but little fame beyond the San Francisco Bay Area.

The 1988 LP release The Beatnigs was recorded at Dancin' Dog Studio in Emeryville and distributed by Alternative Tentacles. In addition to Michael Franti and Ron Tse, the band included Henry Flood on percussion, Andre Flores on keyboards, and Kevin Carnes on vocals. All of the band members made multiple instrumental contributions, including industrial percussion.

Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy (1991–93)

His next project, The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, found Franti continuing his collaboration with Tse, and working with jazz guitarist Charlie Hunter, and electronic musicians Mark Pistel (Consolidated) and Jack Dangers (Meat Beat Manifesto). The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy wrote politically charged lyrics that railed against the injustices of the world, set to a fusion of industrial music and hip hop. Their first album, Hypocrisy is the Greatest Luxury (on Island Records),[8] won plaudits for its social commentary, and they were chosen by U2 to open for their Zoo TV Tour.

It is important to note that this album is one of Franti's remarkable works as an artist activist. The first song of the album Hypocrisy is the Greatest Luxury is 'Satanic Reverses', a song which criticizes the oil and fossil fuel industry and speaks directly to the company Exxon. Another notable work of rebel art in Hypocrisy is the Greatest Luxury is 'Television The Drug of The Nation' which as the title implies, blame television for a political numbing of the people of the United States and this point becomes explicit in the lyrics: "T.V., it satellite links, our United States of unconsciousness, apathetic therapeutic and extremely addictive[9]". This track consists of spoken word type lyrics backed up by heavy, bright and strong percussive timbres, which express the upfront exclamation that urges one to wake up from the trance set upon by T.V. The song had been previously recorded by Franti's former project, The Beatnigs and received wide airplay and alternative and college radio stations.

The distinctive work of the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy has been analyzed in various academic papers. It has even been analyzed by author Leslie Haywood and editor Jeniffer Drake in the book "Third Wave Agenda, Being Feminist and Doing Feminism."[10] The analysis involved the role of masculinity in the misogynist point of view which dominates popular music. The authors argue Franti's lyrics in treating women fairly in relationships is an exception.

Franti and the Disposable Heroes put together another record of music accompanying novelist William Burroughs' readings for an album entitled Spare Ass Annie and Other Tales. This album diverged greatly from the style of the band's previous work, as they were largely providing musical background and accompaniment to Burroughs' spoken readings from several of his books.

According to the Encyclopedia of Popular Music, Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy is an innovative contemporary hip hop crew; a mixture of articulate manifesto rap which broke down beyond the black and white rhetoric, especially in the song 'Language of Violence', one of the first raps to speak about homophobia.[11]

Michael Franti & Spearhead (1994–present)

Michael Franti & Spearhead
MFat Waka
Michael Franti and Spearhead performing at Wakarusa 2006
Background information
OriginSan Francisco
GenresRoots, Rock, Reggae, Hip-Hop, Soul, Funk, Pop
Years active1994-present
MembersMichael Franti (vocals)
Carl Young (bass)
J Bowman (guitar)
Mike Blankenship (keyboard)
Manas Itiene (drums)

In 1994, Franti formed a new band called Spearhead with a few studio musicians, including mainstay Carl Young, and announced the dissolution of Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy. Their first release, Home, in September 1994, was a departure from the politically charged rap of the Disposable Heroes and drew more from funk and soul music. The album was produced by Franti and Joe Nicolo. The song "Positive", also from the album Home, appeared on the Stolen Moments: Red Hot + Cool compilation album by the Red Hot Organization. In 1998, Spearhead recorded "I Got Plenty 'o Nuthin" with Ernest Ranglin for the Red Hot Organization's compilation album Red Hot + Rhapsody.

Their follow up album Chocolate Supa Highway was released in March 1997, with several changes in band members between releases. This album featured a return to hip hop elements and a pronounced reggae influence and included guest appearances by notables like Stephen Marley and Joan Osborne.

After releasing the two albums, the band split with Capitol Records (reportedly prompted by the label's repeated urging to perform with other artists like Will Smith).[12] The band instead decided to create its own record label, Boo Boo Wax. Since Capitol Records owned the rights to the name "Spearhead", subsequent albums were all released as "Michael Franti & Spearhead."

His song "Sometimes" was included on the soundtrack to the 1999 film, Mystery Men, as well as the soundtrack to the 2006 film, Last Holiday. Also, under the "Spearhead" name, their cover version of The Police's 1979 No. 32 hit, "Roxanne", was featured on the soundtrack to the 1997 film Good Burger, the full-length feature film starring Kenan Thompson & Kel Mitchell based on their characters from the popular 'Good Burger' sketch featured on the Nickelodeon series All That.

Michael Franti & Spearhead released Stay Human in 2000 under their own label Boo Boo Wax in alignment with indie music label Six Degrees Records. The album's central theme was the unjust nature of the death penalty and other major themes included mass media monopolization, the prison-industrial complex and corporate globalization.

In an interview, Franti talked about the message of Stay Human: "Half the record is songs about what's happening in the world right now, and the other half is about how we cope with it as people who are concerned about what's going on", he said. "This specter of war, intimidation, this nation vs. the rest of the world, it wears us out. Half the record is a healthy dose of venting anger about that, and the other half is about how do we hold on to our spirituality, our community and our connectedness to each other."[8] In 2001 Franti was featured on Lamb's album What Sound, providing backing vocals on the track "I Cry". Also in 2001, Michael Franti & Spearhead released the song "Oh My God", argument-ally one of Michael Franti & Spearhead's most precise resistance songs. It was analyzed in Catherine Chaput's book Entertaining Fear: Rhetoric and the Political Economy of Social Control. Chaput uses the lyrics of "Oh My God" to show how it is counter-productive to understand politics as distinct from economics and culture. The lyrics make connections across science, popular culture and politics.[13]

Everyone Deserves Music was released in 2003. Franti composed many of the songs from his guitar and, like fellow 21st century cultural globalists Manu Chao and Ozomatli, continues to synthesize his eclectic influences. In a departure from the industrial sounds of the Beatnigs and Disposable Heroes, and the minimalism of early Spearhead, Franti's affirming lyrics are now set to swelling rock chords, while keeping a world-wise groove nodding towards reggae, dancehall, bossa nova, Afrobeat, and funk. Anthems like the title track "Everyone Deserves Music", "Yes I Will" and "Bomb The World" are constructed with a nod to the 1980s rock of The Clash and U2, as well as to classic soul from Stax and Motown. The song "We Don't Stop" (featuring Gift of Gab from Blackalicious and Spearhead's rapper/beatbox technician Radioactive) bridges the two sounds in a "Magnificent Seven" style mash-up. And on "Love Why Did You Go Away" and "What I Be", Franti reveals an alluring, sensual singing voice. "Pray For Grace" and "Bomb The World (Armageddon Version)" pair Franti with the reggae/funk giants Sly and Robbie (Grace Jones, Rolling Stones, Black Uhuru, No Doubt).

Also in 2003, Franti released a mostly acoustic album, Songs from the Front Porch containing rearranged versions of older songs from Chocolate Supa Highway, Stay Human and Everyone Deserves Music as well as a couple of new tracks.

Michael Franti at the Bonnaroo Festival, 2007 – Photo: Raj Gupta

On July 25, 2006, Michael Franti & Spearhead released Yell Fire!, inspired by Franti's trip to Israel, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Iraq. In an effort to share his experiences from his trip and to explore the human cost of war, Franti produced a movie entitled I Know I'm Not Alone, using the songs from his album Yell Fire! as a soundtrack. "One Step Closer To You" from Yell Fire! features Pink on backing vocals. The whole album is available for listening in his website.

Franti and Spearhead have gained a worldwide audience through touring and appearances in alternative media like Mother Jones magazine and Democracy Now!. Franti continues to tour in addition to producing the annual Power to the Peaceful festival each year since 1998.[14] The festival originated as a way of supporting Mumia Abu-Jamal, who has been convicted of murdering a policeman but is considered by some on the Left to be a political prisoner.[15] Michael Franti continues to gain influence in both popular music and social movements largely through extensive touring and word of mouth fan support. Lyrics from his song "Bomb The World", written in the dark aftermath of September 11 such as "You can bomb the world to pieces, but you can't bomb it into peace" have found their way onto protest signs and t-shirts all over the world from Los Angeles to Berlin, San Francisco to CNN, at demonstrations for peace large and small.

The song "Light Up Ya Lighter" by Michael Franti & Spearhead was included on the soundtrack to Body of War, an award-winning documentary about Tomas Young, a paralyzed Iraq War veteran.

Songs from Yell Fire and All Rebel Rockers are on the soundtrack to The Edge of Never, a documentary about extreme skiers mentoring 15-year-old Kye Peterson in his quest to ski the route in Chamonix, France that killed his father, Trevor Peterson, nine years earlier.

The album All Rebel Rockers was released on September 9, 2008 and was largely recorded in Jamaica at the Anchor studio in St Andrew. The band worked with ubiquitous rhythm team Sly and Robbie and featured multi-talented vocalist Cherine Anderson on the set which entered the Billboard 200 pop chart in September at number 38. The single 'Say Hey (I Love You)' also reached Number 18 on the US Hot 100, providing Franti with his first US Top 20 single.[16] Michael Franti was featured on Aux.tv's show Volume where he spoke about U.S. politics and his efforts to make the world a better place.[17]

Franti played three different events to commemorate President Barack Obama's inauguration: The Green Ball, The Peace Ball and the Rock the Vote Party.

Franti announced[18] in November 2009 that he would be joining musician John Mayer on the Battle Studies Tour in spring 2010.

As part of the band's commitment to environmentalism, Michael Franti and Spearhead avoid the use of water bottles on national tours and run their tour bus on biodiesel.[19]

Franti announced the release of The Sound of Sunshine on his official website in July 2010. It features 12 tracks including two versions of the title track, the new hit single, "Shake It", and staples of his recent live performances including "Hey Hey Hey", "Anytime You Need Me", "The Thing That Helps Me Get Through", and the anthemic arena-rock ballad "I'll Be Waiting". The album was originally set to be released on August 24, but was pushed back to September 21[20] to give the album "more runway."[21]

Michael Franti started the recording process for The Sound of Sunshine in Jamaica but then continued to mix tracks and record in Bali before choosing to bring a portable studio on the road. He continued to record on the road and then test his ideas in front of live audiences to see if they liked it before going back and revamping it the next day.[22] He has since been quoted as saying 90% of the album ended up being recorded on his laptop.[23]

In 2012, he joined the 11th annual Independent Music Awards judging panel to assist independent musicians' careers.[24]

In 2013, Michael Franti released his album titled as All People, which features his latest single "I'm Alive (Life Sounds Like)". It was released July 30, 2013.

His new single "I'm Alive (Life Sounds Like)" was featured on The Sims 4 and Rayman Legends game trailers.[25]

In March 2018, Michael Franti announced a new album, Stay Human, Vol. II, would be released in June 2018 and also stands as the soundtrack to his new documentary. In July Michael Franti, via Instagram, announced the album was delayed until Fall 2018. Stay Human, Vol. II was released on January 25, 2019 and on October 12 the first single was released, "Just to Say I Love you".


Franti is also an advocate for peace in the Middle East. His film I Know I'm Not Alone features footage of Iraq, the Palestinian territories, and Israel. Franti decided to embark on this three week journey with friends to view the human cost of war in the Middle East first-hand. Franti states, "This film came out of my frustration with watching the nightly news and hearing generals, politicians, and pundits explaining the 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 most: doctors, nurses, poets, artists, soldiers, and my personal favorite, musicians."[26]

The film aims to speak to multiple generations and to give a better understanding of the people who still live in war-torn countries. He did not embark on the trip for the film with any special government groups or organizations, but instead bought plane tickets and headed off to Iraq, the Palestinian territories, and Israel armed with nothing more than his guitar and an extreme passion for music and a love of people. He says, "When I first had the idea for this journey, I had no idea how to get to Iraq and almost no idea how to make a film. After discovering that all you need to get into Iraq is a plane ticket, I prayed that movie making would be that simple..."[7] From his trip to the Middle East, Franti argued that it was poverty more than religion that created tensions in the Gaza region. "The poverty was so severe," says Franti. "This really helped me to understand the frustration the Palestinian youth have. Ultimately, my belief is that it is poverty more than religion that creates tensions and frustrations. If you are struggling to feed your family, living on less than US$2 (Dh7.34) a day, as most Gaza residents are, and can see that past the checkpoint in Israel people live like in Los Angeles, then that really is going to cause mounting tensions."[27]

In 2001 Franti was awarded the Domestic Human Rights Award by Global Exchange, an international NGO based in San Francisco, for his work to end war.

In 2006, he was invited by Australian Labour MP Jenny Macklin to show the film at Australia's Parliament House, Canberra.[28]

Although the album "Yell Fire" and the documentary "I Know I'm Not Alone" may be the most known activist works of Michael Franti, Franti's career as a rebel musician and activist does not end there. Music and politics have always been a part of Franti's art and that can be seen in Franti's early career in the song of the "Music and Politics" released during the "Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy" phase. The song consists of Franti reciting in Spoken Word style with a soft electric guitar riffing in the background.

Although Franti's points of views about the role of music in politics has changed as well as the style of music he uses to express himself, Franti still writes about small letter 'p' politics and continues to work as an activist towards social change.[29] The album 'All Rebel Rockers' from 2008 (US #39) already with Spearhead was also a vehicle to express Franti's political views through music. According to Franti, the album is inspired by contemporary issues which the world is facing, such as climate change, the price of gas going up and down, the stock market and the auto industry, and the presidency of Obama.[30]

Franti is not an activist only through music. Other than his trip to the Middle East and his many other travels through the world which have helped shape his global political perspective, Franti works with the charitable cause Ubuntu Education Fund,[31] has promoted vegan diets, has promoted being barefoot, and followed the Occupy Wall Street movement during one of Michael Franti and Spearhead's tours.[27]

Soulshine Bali

Michael Franti owns a yoga resort hotel in the southern part of Ubud, Bali, called Soulshine. It is considered "Michael Franti's oasis of yoga, soul, and rock n' roll."[32] His resort was originally named Stay Human Yoga Retreat Center when it first opened in 2011, a joint venture between Franti and Carla Swanson.[33] Soulshine has hosted many retreats led by people such as Trevor Hall and FullyRaw Kristina.

Personal life

Franti has three sons: Ade, Cappy and Taj.[34] He is married to emergency room nurse and jewelry designer Sara Agah.[35][36] He was previously married to Tara Franti-Rye from 1998 until 2004, she is the mother of Ade.[37][38]

Inspired by his son, Franti became a vegan.[39]

In 2000, Franti decided not to wear any shoes, initially for three days. Since then, he has chosen to go barefoot except for occasionally wearing flip-flops as required to board an airplane or to be served in a restaurant.[40] Franti prefers bare feet.[41]

In 2014, Michael Franti's son Ade was diagnosed with a kidney disease called Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). This disease has left his son with just 50% function in his kidneys. Upon Michael speaking of this diagnosis, he says, "My son being diagnosed was the worst news I ever got in my whole life...we didn't know if he could graduate from high school or what kind of life he was going to have. We don't know where it's going to go next, but he inspires me everyday." [42]

In September 2018, Michael Franti's third son, Taj Franti, was born. Taj is Michael’s third child, and his first one with Sara Agah.[43]



  • 2000: Live at the Baobab
  • 2002 Passion
  • 2003: Songs from the Front Porch


Studio albums

List of albums, with selected details and chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions Sales

  • Released: September 20, 1994
  • Label: Capitol
44 44 24 147
Chocolate Supa Highway
  • Released: March 25, 1997
  • Label: Capitol
56 79 25 68
Stay Human
  • Released: May 15, 2001
  • Label: Boo Boo Wax
30 32
Everyone Deserves Music
  • Released: June 17, 2003
  • Label: Boo Boo Wax
9 28 34 26
Yell Fire!
  • Released: July 25, 2006
  • Label: ANTI-
14 19 20
All Rebel Rockers
  • Released: March 20, 2007
  • Label: ANTI-
39 13 18 40 25
The Sound of Sunshine
  • Released: September 21, 2010
  • Label: Capitol
17 5 34
All People
  • Released: July 30, 2013
  • Label: Capitol
30 4 25
  • Released: June 3, 2016
  • Label: Fantasy Records
38 5 175 96
Stay Human, Vol. II
  • Released: January 25, 2019
  • Label:
62 9 [A]
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


  1. ^ Stay Human Vol. II did not enter the ARIA Albums Chart, but peaked at number 23 on the ARIA Digital Albums Chart.[56]


  • 1994: "Of Course You Can" UK #74[54]
  • 1994: "People in tha Middle" AUS #69,[48] UK #49[54]
  • 1995: "Hole in the Bucket" AUS #87,[48] UK #55[54]
  • 1995: "Positive"
  • 1997: "U Can't Sing R Song"
  • 1997: "Why Oh Why" UK #45[54]
  • 1997: "Rebel Music (3 O'Clock Roadblock)" (feat. Stephen Marley) (promo-only)
  • 1997: "Keep Me Lifted"
  • 2001: "Rock the Nation"
  • 2001: "Sometimes"
  • 2002: "Soulshine" (Australia-only EP)
  • 2003: "Bomb the World" AUS #70[48]
  • 2003: "Everyone Deserves Music" AUS #39[48]
  • 2006: "I Know I'm Not Alone"
  • 2006: "Light up Ya Lighter"
  • 2008: "Obama Song" (feat. SoliLaquists of Sound, Cherine Anderson & Anthony B) (Digital Only)
  • 2008: "Say Hey (I Love You)" #18 US[57]
  • 2011: "Shake It" (feat. Lady Saw)
  • 2011: "The Sound of Sunshine" (feat. Jovanotti, for Italy only)
  • 2011: "Hey Hey Hey"
  • 2013: "I'm Alive (Life Sounds Like)"
  • 2013: "Life is Better With You"
  • 2013: "11 59" (feat. Sonna Rele)
  • 2014: "Same As It Ever Was (Start Today)"
  • 2016: "Once A Day" (feat. Sonna Rele)

Live albums and compilations

  • 1994: Stolen Moments: Red Hot + Cool
  • 1998: Red Hot + Rhapsody
  • 1998: Hempilation, Vol. 2: Free the Weed
  • 2005: Weeds (Music from the Original TV Series)
  • 2005: Live in Sydney
  • 2005: Love Kamikaze (Singles and Remixes)
  • 2005: Live: Alaska
  • 2005: Power to the Peaceful Festival 2005 (CD & DVD)
  • 2006: Snakes on a Plane: The Album
  • 2007: Yell Fire! Live
  • 2008: CLIF GreenNotes Protect the Places We Play
  • 2008: The Wire: And All the Pieces Matter -- Five Years of Music from The Wire


  • 1992: Infinity within (album) (Deee-Lite, "Fuddy Duddy Judge" feat. Michael Franti)
  • 1994: Echomania (Dub Syndicate, "No No" feat. Michael Franti)
  • 1995: Blue In The Face (Movie Soundtrack) ("To My Ba-Bay!" w/ Spearhead & Zap Mama)
  • 1997: Seven, "Poetry Man" (with Zap Mama and King Britt) and "Baba Hooker" (with Zap Mama)
  • 1997: Black Enough? (Steel Pulse feat. Michael Franti of Spearhead)
  • 1999: Dal Basso (Jovanotti feat. Michael Franti)
  • 2001: Stay Human, "Listener Supported" (with Zap Mama)
    Steady Pull (Jonatha Brooke feat. Michael Franti)
  • 2002: 1 Giant Leap (Jamie Catto & Duncan Bridgeman, "Passion" feat. Michael Franti)
  • 2003: The World Around (Buscemi feat. Michael Franti)
    Little Drummer Boy (Blind Boys Of Alabama feat. Michael Franti)
    There's Enough For All Of Us (Hardage feat. Michael Franti)
    My Love (E-Life feat. Michael Franti)
  • 2005: Look at All the Love We Found: A Tribute To Sublime ("What I Got" w/ Michael Franti & Spearhead featuring Gift of Gab)
  • 2006: What's This? (Franti, Gabriel Ríos and Flip Kowlier)
  • 2007: Supermoon, "Hey Brotha" (with Zap Mama)
  • 2008: Mani libere 2008 (Jovanotti feat. Michael Franti)
    The End (Sugarush Beat Company feat. Michael Franti)
  • 2009: All Rebel Rockers, "High Low" (with Zap Mama)
  • 2010: El Vecindario, "Monkey Man" (with Macaco)
  • 2011: Battiti di ali di farfalla (with Lorenzo Jovanotti Cherubini)
  • 2011: The Sound of Sunshine (with Lorenzo Jovanotti Cherubini)
    "P.O.W." (With Honest Bob)(From the album The Game)
    "I Love The Future + Praize Creation Dub + Dignity Of Struggle" (With The Fire This Time)(From the album Still Dancing On John Waynes Head)
  • 2014: È Tardi (with Caparezza)
  • 2014: I Believe (with SOJA and Nahko Bear)

The Beatnigs

The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy

  1. ^ Stay Human Vol. II did not enter the ARIA Albums Chart, but peaked at number 23 on the ARIA Digital Albums Chart.[56]

Appearances in media

Franti's music was featured twice on HBO's urban drama The Wire. "Oh My God" and "Rock The Nation", both from the album Stay Human, were used in two different episodes during the series' first season.[58] Franti's song "Everybody Ona Move" was featured in the pilot episode of Privileged on the CW in 2008 and also in a 2009 PlayStation 3 commercial. "Yell Fire" was used to promote the FX channel series Rescue Me and was also used in the closing credits of the pilot episode of Virtuality on Fox. Showtime's Weeds featured Franti's song "Ganja Babe" in its first season, his interpretation of the Weeds theme song "Little Boxes" in Season 3, and "Say Hey" during a flash mob scene in the premiere episode of Season 5. Boston Red Sox centerfielder Shane Victorino uses the song "Light up Ya Lighter" as his batter walk-up music. "Say Hey (I Love You)" was used on the third episode of NBC's series Mercy, as well as in the opening scene of the 2010 film Valentine's Day. The same song was also used in 2010 in a commercial for Corona Light beer. The song is also featured on the soundtrack of EA Sports game, 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa.

He appeared as himself in the 2010 music documentary Sounds Like A Revolution.

"I'm Alive (Life Sounds Like)" was featured on the "Arrival" official trailer for The Sims 4[59] during Gamescom 2013 at the Cologne Trade Fair in Cologne, Germany on August 20, 2013.[60] It was also featured in the launch trailer for Rayman Legends[61] and the final trailer for Coco.[62]

Franti collaborated with Slacker Radio, picking the tunes and providing commentaries, to create a radio station[63] playing his favorite artists.

Franti premiered his own documentary Stay Human on April 27, 2018 at the Asbury Park Music and Film Festival. Written on his website about the film, Franti states, "my new film Stay Human takes us on a journey through music and stories of some of the most inspiring individuals on the planet. Amazing people that I’ve met on my travels around the globe, who have chosen to overcome cynicism with optimism, hope, tenacity, music, and love – and remind us all what it means to STAY HUMAN."[64]


  1. ^ Vaziri, Aidin (September 7, 2010). "Michael Franti got his guitar, then headed to Iraq. Any requests for anti-war music?". SF GATE. 4:00 am, Thursday, September 7, 2010. Retrieved 2015-10-20.
  2. ^ a b c Rocca, Jane. "What I know about women". genealogyresearchusa.com. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  3. ^ [1] Archived February 4, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "RootsWeb: CAYOLO-L [CAYolo] Charles E. FRANTI (1933-2003) (obit.)". Archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved 2011-04-09.
  5. ^ Michael Franti himself during concert in Edmonton on Oct. 02,2013 at The Winspear
  6. ^ Michael Franti, Edmonton Folk Music Festival, 2014
  7. ^ a b "I Know I'm Not Alone". Iknowimnotalone.com. Archived from the original on 2011-04-24. Retrieved 2011-04-09.
  8. ^ a b c http://www.spearheadvibrations.com/band.htm. Retrieved November 8, 2008. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ ""Television, The Drug Of The Nation" Lyrics". Lets Sing It. Retrieved 2015-10-18.
  10. ^ Heywood, Leslie (October 1, 1997). Third Wave Agenda: Being Feminist, Doing Feminism. Univ Of Minnesota Press; 1 edition. ISBN 0816630054.
  11. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music. Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-0-85712-595-8.
  12. ^ "Music & Nightlife in Santa Cruz, CA | Music Review | Michael Franti". Metroactive.com. Retrieved 2011-04-09.
  13. ^ Chaput, Catherine (2010-01-01). Entertaining Fear: Rhetoric and the Political Economy of Social Control. Peter Lang. ISBN 9781433105852.
  14. ^ Schwartz, Greg M. "Power to the Peaceful Festival". Popmatters.com. Retrieved 2011-04-09.
  15. ^ Bowen, Rebecca (7 September 2007). "Power to the Peaceful Festival begins tomorrow". Paste. Retrieved 12 April 2010.
  16. ^ "Michael Franti interview by Pete Lewis, 'Blues & Soul' February 2010". Bluesandsoul.com. Retrieved 2011-09-12.
  17. ^ "Artists: MichaelFranti". Aux.tv. Archived from the original on 2009-10-20. Retrieved 2009-09-03.
  18. ^ "Home | Michael Franti & Spearhead". Michaelfranti.com. Retrieved 2014-08-04.
  19. ^ [2] Archived October 3, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ "Album Blog: The Sound of Sunshine Track Listing (with commentary)". Michael Franti. Archived from the original on 2011-02-06. Retrieved 2011-04-09.
  21. ^ "Michael Franti Pushes Up 'Sound of Sunshine' Release". Billboard.com. 2009-09-14. Retrieved 2011-04-09.
  22. ^ "Vocals / Guitar". Michael Franti. 2011-04-05. Archived from the original on 2011-02-06. Retrieved 2011-04-09.
  23. ^ "Michael Franti & Spearhead interview by Pete Lewis, 'Blues & Soul' June 2011". Bluesandsoul.com. Retrieved 2011-09-12.
  24. ^ "11th Annual Independent Music Awards Judging Panel". Independentmusicawards.com. Retrieved 2014-08-04.
  25. ^ "Michael Franti & Spearhead Bio". Jam Base. Retrieved 2015-10-20.
  26. ^ Wilshire, Peter (April 1, 2006). "'I Know I'm Not Alone': A Middle-Eastern Musical Odyssey". Australian Screen Education.
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External links

All Rebel Rockers

All Rebel Rockers is the sixth studio album by Michael Franti & Spearhead released on September 9, 2008, on Boo Boo Wax and ANTI- Records. It peaked at #37 on the U.S. Billboard 200, making it their most successful album.Recorded mostly in Kingston, Jamaica, with noted producers Sly and Robbie, the album is described by Franti as having "a solid reggae feel". Guest musicians include Marie Daulne of Zap Mama and Jamaican soul/dancehall singer Cherine Anderson. All Rebel Rockers spawned the million-selling reggae/dancehall-flavoured single "Say Hey (I Love You)", which peaked at 18 on the Billboard US Hot 100.

Anti- (record label)

Anti- is an American record label founded in 1999 as a sister label to Epitaph. While Epitaph's focus has mostly been on punk rock, Anti-'s roster includes country (Merle Haggard), hip hop (Sage Francis, The Coup), reggae (Michael Franti), soul (Bettye LaVette, Doe Paoro), indie folk (The Swell Season, Saintseneca), rap rock (One Day as a Lion), indie rock (The Dream Syndicate, Islands, Japandroids), and Tom Waits.

Founded by Andy Kaulkin, Anti- first gained attention by releasing Tom Waits's Grammy Award-winning Mule Variations in 1999. Other veteran recording artists such as rhythm and blues singers Solomon Burke, Bettye LaVette and Marianne Faithfull have signed onto Anti- after leaving other labels.

Bomb the World

"Bomb the World" is a protest song single by Michael Franti & Spearhead from their album "Everyone Deserves Music". The Independent has called it "Franti's s response to September 11".Lyrics from the song such as "We can bomb the world to pieces, but we can't bomb it into peace", have found their way onto protest signs and T-shirts all over the world from Los Angeles to Berlin, San Francisco to CNN, at peace demonstrations.

A remix called "Bomb The World" (Armageddon Mix) was produced by reggae/funk performers Sly and Robbie.

Chocolate Supa Highway

Chocolate Supa Highway is the second studio album of Spearhead.

Everyone Deserves Music

Everyone Deserves Music is the fourth studio release by Michael Franti & Spearhead. The album is possibly most famous for Franti's protest song "Bomb the World".

Fango (song)

"Fango" is a song written by Jovanotti, Riccardo Onori and Michael Franti, recorded by Jovanotti himself for his eleventh studio album Safari, and produced by Michele Canova. The song, which features American recording artist Ben Harper playing bass, was released as the album's lead single in December 2007. The song received the first Mogol Award, voted by popular lyricist Mogol with three additional experts and aimed at recognizing the best lyrics of the year in Italian pop music.

Home (Spearhead album)

Home is the debut album by Spearhead, released in 1994 under the Capitol Records label. It includes thirteen tracks. It was produced by Joe "The Butcher" Nicolo (Ruffhouse Records) at Studio 4 in Philly. "Hole in the Bucket" was released as a single, which became an MTV Buzz Bin song and won a Clio Award.

Mighty High

Mighty High is the eighth studio album by southern rock jam band Gov't Mule. The album was released on October 16, 2007, by ATO Records. Mighty High features reggae and dub versions of classic Mule covers and originals with special guest appearances by reggae legends Michael Franti, Toots Hibbert, and Willi Williams. Most tracks on Mighty High were recorded in the studio but a few of the songs are remixed dubstyle from live recordings at the Beacon Theatre, Bonnaroo, and Mountain Jam.

Mountain Jam (festival)

Mountain Jam is an annual music festival held in upstate New York that began in 2005. It has grown to become the largest rock music and camping festival in New York. The festival was held at Hunter Mountain ski resort for fourteen years, usually in early June. In February 2019, organizers for the Festival announced that the festival was moving to the location of the original Woodstock festival, the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts.

Say Hey (I Love You)

"Say Hey (I Love You)" is a single by Michael Franti & Spearhead featuring Jamaica soulstress Cherine Anderson released in 2008 from their album All Rebel Rockers. The single was produced by Sly & Robbie. The music video peaked at number five on the VH1 Top 20 countdown and the single peaked at number 18 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it Franti's first Hot 100 chart entry. It also peaked at #3 on Billboard Digital Songs, #1 on Billboard R&B Songs, and #3 on Billboard Modern Rock Songs. Digital sales of "Say Hey (I Love You)" has topped 120,000 downloads.The video for this song was filmed at Vigário Geral favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Soulrocker (Spearhead album)

Soulrocker is the ninth studio album by Michael Franti & Spearhead, released on June 3, 2016 by Fantasy Records. He collaborated with the Jamaica producers Stephen McGregor and Dwayne "Supa Dups" Chin-Quee. A tour in support of the album was announced in February.

Sounds Like a Revolution

Sounds Like a Revolution is a feature documentary about recent protest music in the United States. Directed by Canadian directors Summer Love and Jane Michener, the film was released in June 2010 and had its world premiere at the NXNE festival and its theatrical premiere at the Royal Cinema in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Focusing on the personal experiences of four independent musicians, the film portrays Michael Franti, Fat Mike, Paris and Anti-Flag and a collection of live performances, political rallies, music videos and uncensored commentaries from Pete Seeger, the Dixie Chicks, David Crosby, Steve Earle, Jello Biafra, Ani DiFranco, Wayne Kramer, Tom Morello and more.

Stay Human

Stay Human is the third studio release by Michael Franti & Spearhead. Many of the tracks on this album are fictional radio segments focusing on the case of "Sister Fatima" who is executed by album's end. In the Radio Segments, Governor Franklin Shane is played by Woody Harrelson.

The Beatnigs

The Beatnigs was a San Francisco band, which combined hardcore punk, industrial and hip hop influences, described as "a kind of avant-garde industrial jazz poets collective". The band was the initial collaboration of Michael Franti and Rono Tse, who would later form The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, and Kevin Carnes who would later form Broun Fellinis. The band's stage performance included the use of power tools such as a rotary saw on a metal bar to create industrial noise and pyrotechnics. The Beatnigs released an LP (virus065, Jan 1988) and 12" EP of their most famous song, "Television: The Drug of the Nation (virus071, remixed by Adrian Sherwood, Gary Clail, and Mark Stewart) on Alternative Tentacles in 1988. That same year the played their NYC debut at the New Music Seminar, and recorded for the BBC's Peel Sessions. The single was reissued by Alternative Tentacles in 2002, and the album was planned for a CD re-release while made available on iTunes and other digital retailers. One venue for the band was Barrington Hall.

The Beatnigs (album)

The Beatnigs is the eponymous and only album from the San Francisco band The Beatnigs, which combined hard-core punk, industrial and hip hop influences. The band was started by Kevin Carnes, with Michael Franti and Rono Tse as later additions.

The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy

The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy was an American hip-hop musical ensemble, active during the early 1990s.The band was formed in 1990 by Michael Franti (vocals, production, misc. instruments) and Rono Tse (drums, percussion, programming), who had been in the Beatnigs.

The group was associated with contemporary bands, including House of Pain and Pop Will Eat Itself. They also were somewhat reminiscent of Gil Scott-Heron due to the half-spoken vocal styles of Franti and the up-front political messages in the music. The Disposable Heroes played many concerts, sometimes opening the bill for more well-known acts such as U2 (on their landmark Zoo TV Tour), Rage Against the Machine, Nirvana and Arrested Development. Guitarist Charlie Hunter made his recording debut with the Disposable Heroes before earning fame in jazz.

The Sound of Sunshine (album)

The Sound of Sunshine is the seventh studio album by Michael Franti & Spearhead, released by Capitol Records on September 21, 2010.

The Sound of Sunshine (song)

"The Sound of Sunshine" is a title track and a single released by Michael Franti & Spearhead, from their album of the same name (2010). It was written by Franti, Jason Bowman and Carl Young and produced by Franti with additional production by Sly & Robbie. It was released as the album's second single on June 1, 2010 and was digitally released on June 8, 2010.

Yell Fire!

Yell Fire! is the fifth studio album by the reggae-influenced band Michael Franti and Spearhead. It was inspired by Michael Franti's trip to the Middle East, visiting Iraq, Israel, and the Palestinian territories. It is a politically charged album, with each track focusing on a controversial issue. The album was recorded in Kingston, Jamaica and San Francisco and released on July 25, 2006 by ANTI- and Liberation Records.

In the album's first week of sales, it had sold 7,215 copies and by March 28, 2007, Yell Fire! had sold 62,755 copies. In the U.S. the album peaked at #125 on the Billboard 200, but also peaked at #6 on Independent Albums and #1 on Heatseeker Albums.

Michael Franti

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