Michael Franti Biography
Michael Franti was born on April 21, 1967 in Oakland, California USA.
Put up for adoption as an infant, he spent his first months of life in
a number of foster homes. When he was still a toddler, he was adopted
by a white family. Years later Franti searched for and found his birth
parents, his mother was white, his father black, but he recognized that
“when it's all over, it's the people who raised me who are my parents”.
After completing high school, Franti ambled down to San Francisco where he formed the politically charged Hip-Hop Rap outfit The Disposable Heroes Of Hiphoprisy with turntablist Rono Tse.
When the duo disbanded, Franti gathered together a diverse range of musical
talent to form Spearhead, a band more rooted in '70s Soul-Funk. He recruited
Mary Harris and Ras I Zulu to share the vocal chores, then rounded out
the group's line-up with instrumentalists Liane Jamison, Keith McArthur,
James Gray and David James.
Their debut album, "Home", was issued on Capitol Records in September 1994 and was followed two and half years later by "Chocolate Supa Highway".
After disappearing for over four years, Franti resurfaced in May 2001 with a new album, "Stay Human", credited Michael Franti & Spearhead and released through the indie label Six Degrees Records.
During 2003 the artist released two records, a solo effort called "Songs
From The Front Porch: An Acoustic Collection" and "Everyone
Deserves Music", a second album as Michael Franti & Spearhead.
Franti's fiery protest music backed by seductive elements of Reggae, Dub and Funk earned the group popular following and significant critical success. Michael Franti & Spearhead eventually toured and performed with everyone from U2, R.E.M. and Dave Matthews Band to Ziggy Marley and Cypress Hill.
The Oakland-based ensemble released their next album, "Yell Fire!", in July 2006 debuting at #6 on the Top Independent Albums chart. Recorded in both Kingston, Jamaica and in San Francisco, it was also the band's first CD to appear on The Billboard 200 Sales chart reaching #125.
In September 2008 Michael Franti & Spearhead unleashed their most successful album to date, "All Rebel Rockers"; it peaked at #39 on The Billboard 200 while the multi-format radio hit single "Say Hey (I Love You)", landed at #18 on The Billboard Hot 100.
Two years later followed "The Sound Of Sunshine", this album rose to #17 on The Billboard 200 and the title-track reached #33 on The Rock Songs chart.