Episode 321: Michael Franti


Relentless optimism may well be Michael Franti’s defining characteristic. It’s a rare trait, especially in these days of ideologically-driven, social media-fostered detachment. But for all the positivity of a record like Stay Human Vol. II, Franti and Spearhead never avoid the harsh light of reality. In fact, the album doubles as a soundtrack to the Franti-directed documentary that finds the musician traveling the world, in search of humbling stories. The Oakland-born singer has seen plenty in his own right. In an extremely frank and candid conversation, Franti discusses growing up as an outsider with an adopted family, coping with with parental substance abuse and the darkness of his own depressive moments. In a moment that feels historical dark for many, he’s a testament to the healing power of music and human stories.


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