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Taken from MYFOXZONE (Aug 24, 2016)

Catching Up with Michael Franti

Michael Franti talks his new album and looks back at his career.

Exclusive to Fox, KXVA

(Photo: Custom)

Singer Michael Franti’s new video “Good to Be Alive Today,” from his ninth album Soulrocker, features people inside a picture frame while he harmonizes on hope for the world.

It’s an apt metaphor — that everyone has a frame of reference and a destiny meant for hope.

Fox’s Adam Housley tells us about why — for Franti, his touring band The Spearheads and for the message of positive music he creates — it really is good to be alive today.

Singer, songwriter, rapper, musician, poet and activist Michael Franti is out with his ninth studio album, called Soulrocker. It’s a collaboration with his band The Spearheads, blending different styles of music with an uplifting, powerful message.

“This new album has gotten an incredible responsive because it, like a song, for example, ‘Good to Be Alive Today,’ really touches on stuff happening right now and the emotions people are feeling…People want to feel a sense that we are [going to] make it through to the other side, and I think that’s the power of music — that it helps us feel the sense of optimism.” The 50-year-old northern California native has been performing since 1987, having hit songs and a loyal following. He says the opportunity to share his music with others is a gift.

“I make music for one reason, which is that I care about people, and I care about the planet and everything I do stems from that…As a musician, we have a rare opportunity to really wake up in the morning, write a song, go play it on a street corner and at night, go play it for thousands of people and see the effect it has on them immediately. For me, that’s the greatest reward.”

Inspiration for songs can happen anywhere — including when he wrote ‘Say Hey I love You’ in Woody Harrelson’s bathroom.

“And so, I get into the shower and start writing. The words start flowing on the glass on the shower, you know, and I get done, and I’m feeling really good and I’m sitting on Woody’s toilet and Woody calls me. ‘How’s the songwriting going?’ I aid, ‘Woody, I think it’s going great. I think I wrote a hit song.’ And he said, ‘Is it a number one or number two?’”

And with their present world tour taking the band into next year, Franti savors every moment of his success.

“I’ve been making music since 1987…I started in a little punk rock band in a van, driving around the country, sleeping around floors and I remember that spark I had when I was that youthful rebel. And I still feel that every day.”


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