Michael Franti Quotes.
I went to Iraq because I wanted to see what one year of occupation had done to Iraqi society, and I went to the West Bank and Gaza Strip because I wanted to see what three generations of occupation had done to Palestinian society. I found a lot more hopelessness and despair in Palestine.
I really encourage people to travel so we can see how the rest of the world views our country. That’s really important. Secondly, as artists, activists, and citizens who vote, we have to begin to vote from our heart.
People worry that gas prices are high and how they are affecting their pocket book. But they want to know about renewable energy. People are really starting to question things, and that’s made people look to the future in a positive way.
There are so many things to be worried about, and I wanted to make a record that people could put on, and it would lift them up the way the sun did for me each day.
History shows that Americans believe in doing the right thing.
It’s a really personal thing for me to write a song.
When I first started out, I thought it was enough to make an angry song that pointed out the problems of the world.
I really believe that, as an artist, my opportunity to help to bring about awakening is one that should come from a personal process that someone has, and not from me telling somebody that this is the way it is.
Be who you are, nothing more… nothing less.
The U.S. has historically been the world’s largest contributor to climate change.
God is too big for just one religion.
Sometimes, I feel like I can do anything, and, sometimes, I’m so alive, sometimes, I feel like I could zoom across the sky and, sometimes, I wanna cry.
The world can’t have a global solution to climate change with U.S. action alone; and the world can’t have a global solution without U.S. action.
I eat bags and bags of cashews. I’ve got them in the kitchen, and about ten feet away I’ve got another bowl on the kitchen table. In my backpack, I’ve always got a bag of cashews. I started eating them in the airports because that’s the one food that you can find in every airport that’s actually nutritious.
Power to the peaceful!
I’d play music on the street, especially in developing nations where a lot of kids couldn’t wear shoes. In order to relate with kids that would be following me barefoot, I would take off my shoes, and they would all laugh at me because I couldn’t go three steps without wincing.
Every single soul is a poem.
I think my soul is intact, but my methods of reaching people are completely different.
After a show, I’ll get the 16-year-old white kid whose lip is pierced, his head is shaved and his parents hate him, and the young gangster from the screwed-up ‘hood, and they say that now they realize there’s someone out there who thinks like they do.
Music gives us new energy and a stronger sense of purpose.
Our country was founded on immigration. We are all occupying Native American land here. At what point do we say ‘It’s our land, and nobody else can come here.’
The music industry has been hijacked by corporate interests, but the way music affects people and resonates with them hasn’t changed.
I took a trip in 2004, a year after the war started in Iraq. I played music on the streets of Baghdad for Iraqi civilians. I’d also play for U.S. soldiers at night when they were off duty in the bars. Then I would talk to people, and I would film them and ask them about their life and the conflict.
The way the music comes to you starts to affect how you listen to music. When you’re a kid, it’s ‘Does it rock? Does it make me feel good? Does it make me tap my feet? Does it make me go to sleep?’
You learn a lot when you’re barefoot. The first thing is every step you take is different.
Don’t let mistakes be so monumental, don’t let your love be so confidential, don’t let your mind be so darn judgemental, and please let your heart be more influential. Be thankful for all that the spirit provides and be thankful for all that you see without eyes.
Investing now in safe-guarding people by helping them to adapt to climate change, will help save money and lives while building resilience.
My music is part of the quest I have to find new ways of telling stories, and also, I want to inspire people.
In the ’80s, Ronald Reagan inspired me to become politicized, because I grew up in that era when everything I cared about was under attack.
I always identified with that feeling of being an underdog. So I always was looking to connect with and meet people from other cultures, to experience people living a different life that I am.
To sit back and say, ‘Oh, we’re going to let the government do whatever they want, right or wrong,’ is giving up.
Like sunshine, music is a powerful force that can instantly and almost chemically change your entire mood.
The rap community has been singled out as more homophobic than other groups, but I don’t think that’s right. It’s homophobic, all right, but no more so than the heavy-metal community or the Hollywood community or any other community.
My mother birthed three children and she adopted myself and another African-American son. My adoptive parents were Finnish. I grew up in a white picket neighborhood.
It doesn’t matter if you’re black, white, gay, straight, come from different countries, different language… every single person is significant and is meaningful.
I’ve never really been into flags of any kind, cause flags can bring people together, but they always bring people together against other people, and I don’t really consider myself to be a patriot in the sense that I say, ‘okay, this is my nation,’ I consider myself to be a child of this whole planet.
My house was filled with music. We had a piano, and my brothers and sisters played instruments. Even though I was around it, I played basketball.
I came up playing in both punk rock bands and hip-hop bands, and I found a more universal way of reaching people, especially with music that has a message to it.
I’m always trying to find optimistic ways to express myself.
Jamaica’s a country of great dichotomy. On the one hand you have a tourist industry with great beaches and resorts, but on the other you have such great poverty and the violence that goes along with that.
Rap has so many possibilities that need to be explored. There are different factions of rap, but some are in a rut. Rap doesn’t have to be about boosting egos and grabbing your crotch and dissing women. There’s a way to make political and social issues interesting and entertaining to the young rap audience.
The more places I go to, the more I realize I understand so little about the world.
When I first started, my songs were the politics of anger. As I got older and hopefully wiser, I wanted to be part of the politics of answers.
I’m a news junkie who’s constantly reading newspapers and magazines. I look around and see what’s happening in the world.
Everyone deserves music.
Traveling to the Middle East and playing music for people on the street, for soldiers, for people in hospitals, and for people who lost their homes, and seeing people open up through the experience of music really restored my faith in music, in art, and in culture to change things.
Sometimes the hardest thing to do is just to stay human.
I have a desire that I want to make people feel happy through my music. I’m always trying to find optimistic ways to express myself.
I don’t know if music can change the world overnight but I know that music can help someone make it through a difficult night.
When many little people in many little places do many little things, then the whole world changes.
Be as radiant as the sun, as healing as the rain, as generous as a tree.
My parents said sticks and stones will break your bones but names will never hurt you. But I always felt a sense of exhilaration after a fight; it was the names that really hurt me.
My goal has not ever been to change minds, my goal is to open minds.
The corporate media is there to push the agenda of the sponsors, and many of those sponsors are weapons manufacturers. So it stands to reason that you won’t get a diversity of opinions on television.
We would play songs live on stage, and then we’d watch their reaction we were receiving immediately, if people were dancing and singing along. If they weren’t, then we’d go into the dressing rooms of the different NBA teams that we were playing in their arenas, and we’d change the songs right there.
I think that fear comes about when there’s things in the world that we want to change, things we’re scared or angry about, and we can’t change them, and so we become fearful; we develop anxiety.
People underestimate the hip-hop audience and the capacity to understand politics when it’s part of music.
San Francisco has always been a haven for misfits and weirdos. I’m both of those, which is why I came here.
I believe that through positive thoughts, speech, action and attitudes, we change things for the better.
Don’t settle for something that’s not great. Don’t feel like having a relationship that is not serving your needs is more important than having a relationship with yourself.
Life is too short to make just one decision, Music’s too loud for just one station, Love is too big for just one nation, AND GOD IS TOO BIG FOR JUST ONE RELIGION…
I have moments all the time when I play.
I went to the University of San Francisco on an athletic scholarship. I didn’t study in high school. I was just there to get by and to play basketball. But a funny thing happened to me when I got to college. I got challenged by the work and the professors.
Not all artists have a responsibility to be socially or politically aware, but they do have a responsibility to make great art. They have to find some truth and put that in their music.
Collectively, we activists are essential to advancing U.S. policy to help empower marginalized people to lift themselves and their communities out of poverty for good.