Michael Franti

Michael Franti
Michael Franti
  • Born: April 21, 1967
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Composer, Musician, Entertainer, Poet, Rapper

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Michael Franti 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.

Quotes About
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Quotes
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They say they blame it on a song when someone kills a cop, what music did they listen to when they bombed Iraq? Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
After a show, I'll get the 16-year-old white kid whose lip is pierced, his head is shaved and his parents hate him, and the young gangster from the screwed-up 'hood, and they say that now they realize there's someone out there who thinks like they do.
All my songs are different, but from the overall experience, I want people to sense that they can overcome and move through difficult times and find strength in my music. Maybe it's a song that makes them cry and move through something else. Music, Chants & Rapps
All the freaky people make the beauty of the world.
Bonnaroo has kind of become the granddaddy of all American festivals. The thing I love about it most is that it wasn't born out of picking the top ten bands off the Billboard chart and creating a festival around it. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
Collectively, we activists are essential to advancing U.S. policy to help empower marginalized people to lift themselves and their communities out of poverty for good.
During my travels in Iraq, Israel, Gaza, Brazil, Indonesia, Japan, Europe and all over the United States, I have seen and heard the voices of people who want change. They want the stabilization of the economy, education and healthcare for all, renewable energy and an environmental vision with an eye on generations to come. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Every single soul is a poem. Literature, Writers & Writing
Everybody's opinion is equally valid, and I feel like everybody should have an opportunity to speak out, and everyone should have the courage to speak out.
Everyone deserves music. Music, Chants & Rapps
History shows that Americans believe in doing the right thing. History
I always identified with that feeling of being an underdog. So I always was looking to connect with and meet people from other cultures, to experience people living a different life that I am. Life
I came up playing in both punk rock bands and hip-hop bands, and I found a more universal way of reaching people, especially with music that has a message to it. Music, Chants & Rapps
I don't know if it's so grand that I can change the entire world, but I know that I can help one person. So that's the goal.
I don't know if music can change the world overnight but I know that music can help someone make it through a difficult night. Music, Chants & Rapps
I drive a hybrid. It's a Ford Escape. That's my only car.
I eat bags and bags of cashews. I've got them in the kitchen, and about ten feet away I've got another bowl on the kitchen table. In my backpack, I've always got a bag of cashews. I started eating them in the airports because that's the one food that you can find in every airport that's actually nutritious. Nutrition, Food, Starvation, Farming & Agriculture
I have a desire that I want to make people feel happy through my music. I'm always trying to find optimistic ways to express myself. Music, Chants & Rapps
I have moments all the time when I play. Time
I hope I inspire people to dream bigger than what they are living, but a dream within their reach. Hope
I really believe that, as an artist, my opportunity to help to bring about awakening is one that should come from a personal process that someone has, and not from me telling somebody that this is the way it is.
I really encourage people to travel so we can see how the rest of the world views our country. That's really important. Secondly, as artists, activists, and citizens who vote, we have to begin to vote from our heart. Travel
I think my soul is intact, but my methods of reaching people are completely different.
I think that fear comes about when there's things in the world that we want to change, things we're scared or angry about, and we can't change them, and so we become fearful; we develop anxiety.
I took a trip in 2004, a year after the war started in Iraq. I played music on the streets of Baghdad for Iraqi civilians. I'd also play for U.S. soldiers at night when they were off duty in the bars. Then I would talk to people, and I would film them and ask them about their life and the conflict. Life ;Music, Chants & Rapps ;War & Peace
I try to use the attention that I get to help and to serve, and that's really what I'd see as my work - to serve my community, serve the planet, serve my family. And I think a celebrity is someone who draws the attention on themselves, and then it kind of stops there. Families, Children & Parenting ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I went to Iraq because I wanted to see what one year of occupation had done to Iraqi society, and I went to the West Bank and Gaza Strip because I wanted to see what three generations of occupation had done to Palestinian society. I found a lot more hopelessness and despair in Palestine. Society
I went to the University of San Francisco on an athletic scholarship. I didn't study in high school. I was just there to get by and to play basketball. But a funny thing happened to me when I got to college. I got challenged by the work and the professors. Humor ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I'd play music on the street, especially in developing nations where a lot of kids couldn't wear shoes. In order to relate with kids that would be following me barefoot, I would take off my shoes, and they would all laugh at me because I couldn't go three steps without wincing. Music, Chants & Rapps
If we do not change our negative habits toward climate change, we can count on worldwide disruptions in food production, resulting in mass migration, refugee crises and increased conflict over scarce natural resources like water and farm land. This is a recipe for major security problems. Nutrition, Food, Starvation, Farming & Agriculture
I'm a news junkie who's constantly reading newspapers and magazines. I look around and see what's happening in the world.
I'm always trying to find optimistic ways to express myself.
I'm not an idealist. I know we're not going to be living in a world that's peace and love all the time. But we can live in a world where we kill each other a lot less. Time ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;War & Peace
In Jamaica, the music is recorded for the sound system, not the iPod. It's about experiencing music together, with other people. Music, Chants & Rapps
In the '80s, Ronald Reagan inspired me to become politicized, because I grew up in that era when everything I cared about was under attack.
Investing now in safe-guarding people by helping them to adapt to climate change, will help save money and lives while building resilience. Money, Coins & Minting
It doesn't matter if you're black, white, gay, straight, come from different countries, different language... every single person is significant and is meaningful.
It really is a strange time we're living in, when saying 'Don't kill people' is considered a radical point of view. Time
It's a really personal thing for me to write a song.
I've always found that the poorer the places that I go, the more smiles I see, and the more happiness I see. Happiness & Unhappiness
Jamaica's a country of great dichotomy. On the one hand you have a tourist industry with great beaches and resorts, but on the other you have such great poverty and the violence that goes along with that.
Johnny Cash was a rebel, not only just in the musical sense, but he was somebody who was for the people, and an advocate for labor, for workers, for prisoners, people who have been trapped by the criminal justice system.
Like sunshine, music is a powerful force that can instantly and almost chemically change your entire mood. Music, Chants & Rapps
Many kids in foster homes have a lot of emotions that are hard to get out. It's important to let them know they can make a difference in the community.
Music gives us new energy and a stronger sense of purpose. Music, Chants & Rapps
Music has the power to bring people together like no other art form. Music, Chants & Rapps ;Power ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Music is sunshine. Like sunshine, music is a powerful force that can instantly and almost chemically change your entire mood. Music gives us new energy and a stronger sense of purpose. Music, Chants & Rapps
Music was a central part of my childhood because my mother played organ and piano in the church, and that meant all us kids had to be in the church choir. Music, Chants & Rapps
My favorite band of all time is The Clash. The thing I love about The Clash is they started out as guys who could barely play three chords. They dabbled in reggae, punk, rap, jazz. They came to a sound that could only be defined as The Clash. It was impossible to say what it was. I admire them for that. Time ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
My greatest sense of accomplishment has come from having two amazing sons, but it's also a paradox in that the times when I felt like the biggest failure have been times when I felt like, as a parent, I wasn't making the right decisions or succeeding in the way that I should. Failure
My house was filled with music. We had a piano, and my brothers and sisters played instruments. Even though I was around it, I played basketball. Music, Chants & Rapps
My mother birthed three children and she adopted myself and another African-American son. My adoptive parents were Finnish. I grew up in a white picket neighborhood.
My mother, she made sure all of us were treated the same and had the same opportunity to grow and develop, so that when we left the house, we could fly on our own. And she also knew when we got out into the world, we'd treat others that we came across with that same treatment and respect. Respect
My music is part of the quest I have to find new ways of telling stories, and also, I want to inspire people. Music, Chants & Rapps
My parents said sticks and stones will break your bones but names will never hurt you. But I always felt a sense of exhilaration after a fight; it was the names that really hurt me.
My usual day is I get up around 11 o'clock and do yoga and then eat afterwards. Then I have sound check and play soccer and do running with the guys in the band after sound check, and then do the show and eat dinner after the show and usually get to bed around 3 o'clock by the time we get everybody on the bus and get rolling. Time
No life's worth more than any other, no sister worth less than any brother. Life
Not all artists have a responsibility to be socially or politically aware, but they do have a responsibility to make great art. They have to find some truth and put that in their music. Truth ;Music, Chants & Rapps ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Our country was founded on immigration. We are all occupying Native American land here. At what point do we say 'It's our land, and nobody else can come here.'
People underestimate the hip-hop audience and the capacity to understand politics when it's part of music. Music, Chants & Rapps ;Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
People worry that gas prices are high and how they are affecting their pocket book. But they want to know about renewable energy. People are really starting to question things, and that's made people look to the future in a positive way. Future
Playing on the streets of Iraq, or in Israel or the Gaza strip, I'd sing angry protest songs against war. People would say, 'Make us clap, make us dance, and laugh and sing.' It really made me think about the importance of happy music. Music, Chants & Rapps ;War & Peace
Power to the peaceful! Power ;War & Peace
Rap has so many possibilities that need to be explored. There are different factions of rap, but some are in a rut. Rap doesn't have to be about boosting egos and grabbing your crotch and dissing women. There's a way to make political and social issues interesting and entertaining to the young rap audience. Women
Recording in Jamaica is like nothing else. The studios are always closed in America. But in Jamaica, the studio doors are wide open, and there's music blasting out in the street. You can see the reaction of people immediately. Music, Chants & Rapps
San Francisco has always been a haven for misfits and weirdos. I'm both of those, which is why I came here.
Sometimes the hardest thing to do is just to stay human.
'Star Wars' is mythology. It's like Greek mythology or Shakespeare. It's the story of good versus evil over a very long span of time. The storytelling is universal and timeless. Time
The corporate media is there to push the agenda of the sponsors, and many of those sponsors are weapons manufacturers. So it stands to reason that you won't get a diversity of opinions on television.
The more places I go to, the more I realize I understand so little about the world.
The music industry has been hijacked by corporate interests, but the way music affects people and resonates with them hasn't changed. Music, Chants & Rapps
The rap community has been singled out as more homophobic than other groups, but I don't think that's right. It's homophobic, all right, but no more so than the heavy-metal community or the Hollywood community or any other community.
The U.S. has historically been the world's largest contributor to climate change.
The way the music comes to you starts to affect how you listen to music. When you're a kid, it's 'Does it rock? Does it make me feel good? Does it make me tap my feet? Does it make me go to sleep?' Music, Chants & Rapps
The world can't have a global solution to climate change with U.S. action alone; and the world can't have a global solution without U.S. action.
There are so many things to be worried about, and I wanted to make a record that people could put on, and it would lift them up the way the sun did for me each day.
Through music I either tame my demons or unleash them and allow them to be what they are. I don't want the music to be about provocation, I want the music to bring you to a place where you feel at home. Music, Chants & Rapps
To sit back and say, 'Oh, we're going to let the government do whatever they want, right or wrong,' is giving up. Government
Today we are in a war against war - music is our power. Music, Chants & Rapps ;Power ;War & Peace
Traveling to the Middle East and playing music for people on the street, for soldiers, for people in hospitals, and for people who lost their homes, and seeing people open up through the experience of music really restored my faith in music, in art, and in culture to change things. Music, Chants & Rapps ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
We can bomb the world to pieces, but we can't bomb it into peace. War & Peace
We have a saying in my house, my kids and my girlfriend. We say, 'Be your best for the greater good, and rock out wherever you are.'
We would play songs live on stage, and then we'd watch their reaction we were receiving immediately, if people were dancing and singing along. If they weren't, then we'd go into the dressing rooms of the different NBA teams that we were playing in their arenas, and we'd change the songs right there.
When I first started out, I thought it was enough to make an angry song that pointed out the problems of the world.
When I first started, my songs were the politics of anger. As I got older and hopefully wiser, I wanted to be part of the politics of answers. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
When someone can't afford to wear shoes, it's not just about them not having shoes on that day. It's about a cycle of poverty that exists within their community.
When you're in Jamaica, unless you're in a tourist spot, you don't hear Bob Marley; you mostly hear dance hall music. Music, Chants & Rapps
With all the people hating and hurting each other, I don't understand how people could get upset about people of the same sex caring for each other.
You get everything you could have ever wished for if you're willing to give that eternal bliss away to somebody else, to give it back.
You learn a lot when you're barefoot. The first thing is every step you take is different.