Exclusive Interview: Michael Franti
Michael Franti & Spearhead released their latest album, The Sound of Sunshine, in September 2010. If you haven’t heard the album, or own a copy for yourself, you should. It’s one of those “good for the soul” type albums- the right blend of truth, life and art.
I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Michael Franti, asking him questions about his album and his musical philosophy. And given his answers, the vibe of his album is no surprise. Check out the interview after the jump!
STELLA: How would you describe your music?
FRANTI: I hate this question, but I know that’s probably not a great answer. My music is like my hair: everyday I wake up and it looks completely different to me. It might not seem that way to other people, but from the inside looking out, my music is constantly evolving.
STELLA: How does your latest album, The Sound Of Sunshine, compare to previous works?
FRANTI: The Sound of Sunshine was written after a near death experience. My appendix had ruptured on tour and after 8 days of testing, they finally figured out what it was. By this time I was so sick I thought I was going to die. When I made it through I was so glad to be alive, and so grateful for simple things like seeing the sun everyday, that I wanted to write an album expressing my gratitude.
STELLA: If you had to pack a Michael Franti survival kit, what would it include?
FRANTI: My guitar, my ipod, my passport, my closest friends, and enough food to feed them.
STELLA: If you weren’t a musician, what would you want to be?
FRANTI: I do so many things outside of music. I’m a father, a filmmaker, a hotel owner, an artist and athlete. If I had to choose one profession, I would be a yoga teacher.
STELLA: On that note, did you always know you wanted to create music?
FRANTI: No. I feel like I came to music late. What I mean by that is I had already made several albums before I really made up for sure in my mind that I wanted to be a musician. I think the point I knew was in 2004. I dedicated myself to being a musician after spending a year learning to play the guitar.
STELLA: Do you have any other creative talents we should know about?
FRANTI: I love to cook. I wouldn’t say I’m exceptionally talented at it, but I really enjoy cooking, sharing food, and watching how other people do it.
STELLA: You seem to have this real connection with not only fans, but people in general, has this always been the case?
FRANTI: When I was a kid, I was quite insecure, and I made up for it by being funny and trying to excel at sports. When I was in my early 20s I worked as a doorman at a nightclub and I learned how to open conversations with people, and make them feel appreciated and at ease. I think that the confidence that comes from that is the greatest ability that anyone can learn.
STELLA: What I love about your music is that it has a message, what would you say the message of your latest album is?
FRANTI: Gratitude, and appreciation for things in life that we often overlook.
You can stay up to date on all things Michael Franti & Spearhead HERE at their website, and their latest album, The Sound of Sunshine, is available now- online and in stores. You should also check out the video to their single, “Hey Hey Hey” HERE… Enjoy!