It was the second time I met Michael Franti for an interview. The first time was backstage at a multicultural festival in Rotterdam (Netherlands). This time the location is the office of his record company in Amsterdam. We spoke about his album ‘Everyone Deserves Music’.
Michael Franti just arrived from San Francisco early in the morning. Although he hardly slept during the flight, he’s in a good mood. When I greet Michael, the nearly 2 meter / 6,5 feet tall singer-songwriter answers with a hug. “Hi how are you, I remember you”, he says.
Everyone deserves music
“On Everyone Deserves Music, I discovered myself as a singer. That opened a whole new world for me. I have always been a kind of a rapper, but now I use my voice in a different way, it brings new opportunities. Singing gives me such a wonderful feeling. I feel a sense of freedom”, he tells with enthusiasm.
“It’s all because I learned to play guitar. That has changed my perception towards music. Once writing a song, meant for me to start with the lyrics and a beat, now I start with a melody. Most of the songs have been written with the guitar. I finally dare to say now that I’ve become a songwriter.”
Michael’s musical career goes way back in time with ‘the Beatnigs’. He looks back at his early steps in music with a big smile. “Our music was unique, I’m still proud of it, but I also realise how much I have grown in the meantime. In those days, I was always angry. I didn’t have much of a pleasant youth. I felt like an outsider most of the time. I wrote lyrics with my head, ‘Fuck the system‘, that kind of stuff. now I write with my heart.
Power to the peaceful
You can bomb the world to pieces but you can’t bomb it into peace. The song is essential for Michael Franti’s work as a songwriter. He brings a message of tolerance and peace to the world.
“I know that wars are still going on in different parts of the world. But at the same time, you see millions of people demonstrate against wars and asking for peace. It is something of a long breath. In the end, it’s all about the human values. I have a positive view on mankind. We are a relatively young species. As humans we are still in the process of growing up.”