Two years ago Michael Franti decided to "walk his talk" and traveled to the war zones of Iraq, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories with his guitar, video cameras and the intent to experience first hand the human cost of war.
Out of this journey, Franti created a compelling documentary film titled, “I Know I'm Not Alone” and ironically his most uplifting set of songs to date in a searing, reflective new album of original songs titled “Yell Fire!”.
"The thing that I found when I was in war zones was that nobody wants to hear songs about war. They want to hear songs about connection to people, and songs about love and life, songs that make them dance." Songs like "Yell Fire!" and "Time To Go Home" are calls to action: in the streets, at home, and in our own hearts, and "I Know I'm Not Alone," is an uplifting blast of hope.
In addition to his groundbreaking recordings and globally acclaimed live concerts with his current band Spearhead, Franti is a renowned speaker for social justice and human rights. He has lectured at many of this country's top universities, including Yale, Georgetown and Stanford, and shared the stage with the likes of Mohammad Ali, Bill Clinton, Michael Moore, Ralph Nader, and Gloria Steinem. In 2005, Franti became the first recording artist since Johnny Cash to perform at the maximum security, level 4 section of Folsom State Prison.
"Right now, people ask me, 'What can one person do to change what's going on with the world?' I don't know what one person can do except to connect with other people. In doing that, each of us play our roles," he says. "My role is as a storyteller and a songwriter. I'm somebody who is trying to keep the spirits of other people up, despite all the chaos and fear around us".