|Height:||198 cm (6' 6'')|
|Birth Day:||April 21, 1966|
|Birth Place:||Oakland, California, U.S., United States|
|Height||Weight||Hair Colour||Eye Colour||Blood Type||Tattoo(s)|
|198 cm (6' 6'')||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
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; 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.
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.
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 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. Franti prefers bare feet.
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." 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.
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.
Michael Franti was born in Oakland, California. His mother, Mary Lofy, 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. 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. 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. Michael's four adoptive siblings are named Rebecca, Sara, Dan, and Matthew. Michael spent his grade 9 school year at Highland Junior High School in Edmonton, Alberta. He then attended Davis Senior High School and University of San Francisco on a full basketball scholarship.
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.
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.
In 2006, he was invited by Australian Labour MP Jenny Macklin to show the film at Australia's Parliament House, Canberra.
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. 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.
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. 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.
Franti announced in November 2009 that he would be joining musician John Mayer on the Battle Studies Tour in spring 2010.
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 to give the album "more runway."
He appeared as himself in the 2010 music documentary Sounds Like A Revolution.
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." His resort was originally named Stay Human Yoga Retreat Center when it first opened in 2011, a joint venture between Franti and Carla Swanson. Soulshine has hosted many retreats led by people such as Trevor Hall and FullyRaw Kristina.
In 2012, he joined the 11th annual Independent Music Awards judging panel to assist independent musicians' careers.
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.
"I'm Alive (Life Sounds Like)" was featured on the "Arrival" official trailer for The Sims 4 during GamesCom 2013 at the Cologne Trade Fair in Cologne, Germany on August 20, 2013. It was also featured in the launch trailer for Rayman Legends and the final trailer for Coco.
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."
He released the album SoulRocker in 2016. All the songs began on the acoustic guitar.
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".
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.
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."
Currently, Michael Franti is 56 years, 2 months and 5 days old. Michael Franti will celebrate 57th birthday on a Friday 21st of April 2023.
Find out about Michael Franti birthday activities in timeline view here.