Photo Focus: Michael Franti and Spearhead
By Louise Uznanski for OnTapBlog. Photograph of Michael Franti at 2011 Life Is Good Festival by Richard Uznanski.
©2013 All Rights Reserved
Charismatic and caring, hair braided under a hat, tattooed and barefoot, Michael Franti with his band Spearhead and their Jamaican influenced rock and ‘sunshine’ music have become the music festival favorites for their ability to communicate with their diverse audiences. Seeing Michael for the first time at the 2011 Life is good Festival, he was captivating and full of hope and joy. Beach balls are an integral part of Michael’s connection to the audience as he walks and serenades the audience and they play musical beach ball volleyball and hoisting him above their shoulders to return him to the stage.
The Sound of Sunshine, the new album by Michael Franti and Spearhead has been described as a musical sun shower. Michael feels that music can almost instantly chemically change an entire mood. He does not chase success but a hit song, Say Hey (I Love You), from the 2008 album All Rebel Rockers, shot to the top 40 on Billboard 200. Receiving a text about the song’s success while being wheeled into surgery made Michael quip, ‘I have a hit and I might not live to enjoy it!”
Currently on tour (Tour schedule) to promote his new CD The Sound of Sunshine and making his way through the festival circuit, Michael is keeping busy as an author (Where in the World is Away?) and as an Ambassador for Care. In his touring travels, Michael has acquired quite a collection of badges he wears proudly on his humble t-shirt reflecting his love of humanity, music and going barefoot onstage. You can just see Say Hey (I Love You) oozing from his skin.