Taken from ABC Brisbane (April 11, 2006)
by Richard Fidler
Michael Franti is a musician who doesn't shy away from making a political statement. With his band Spearhead, Michael's been touching on issues as diverse as media monopolisation, corporate globalisation and incarceration since the early 90s.
Ultimately though, all his messages come back to the music. "If it can't be fun," he says, "you won't get very far. If you make people laugh, dance, smile, then the invitation comes from them. You can then say, 'What's in your head?'"
As a kid growing up, Michael was influenced by other political artists. "I listened to the radio," he says. "Through one station, I was introduced to Kraftwerk, Bob Marley... artists who had something to say."
Now he's always writing songs. "All of my songs are written on the back of a matchbook, or a newspaper or someone else's business card. I'm always writing phrases... then fit them into a song... It comes together at a certain point!"
Michael finds that music is a great unifier - culturally and politically. "Music is this great way of breaking down borders," he says. "When I was in the Middle East, it didn't matter where I was from, just that we were all experiencing the song at that moment."
Michael Franti in conversation with Richard Fidler
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[color=orange:0ee3660b6b][u:0ee3660b6b]Michael Franti in conversation with Richard Fidler[/u:0ee3660b6b][/color:0ee3660b6b][/size:0ee3660b6b]