Michael Franti & Spearhead – Work Hard & Be Nice ALBUM

by the partae

release 17-track album ‘Work Hard & Be Nice’
out June 19 2020  

**featuring new radio single ‘Walking Into The Sun’**

“Walking Into The Sun” is the song I’ve listened to the most on the new album, probably because it’s the most autobiographical track on the record and it captures a lot of the contradictory emotions I’ve felt in my life. 
When I was a kid I used to dream about traveling to places that I never imagined I’d ever get to see and as an adult I actually ended up getting to see many of them in person.  What I didn’t realize growing up was that just seeing something didn’t have nearly as much value as being there with someone you could share it with and experiencing the journey through the joy reflected in their eyes.  It’s a song that’s both about sharing those magic moments with the love of my life and at the same time feeling the melancholy of longing when we are apart – dreaming of drifting off into the colors of the sun together.  One thing that quarantining has done is bring a deeper appreciation of these shared experiences and I hope people can feel it glowing in the song.” – Michael Franti

Just when we thought the world couldn’t get any more challenging with political division, environmental crisis, gun violence and everyone with a keyboard dissing each other all the time, COVID-19 comes along and puts us all on a worldwide time out. And with everyone locked indoors wondering what the heck is gonna come next, there is no better time for music that helps us laugh, cry, rage, soothe, dance and sing through the sea of emotions boiling inside each of us. Music is simultaneously the greatest self-isolating experience (headphones) and the greatest group coalescing experience (live shows) that humankind has invented. I look forward to the days when we can have mass celebrations of gratitude to all those who held optimism in their hearts and got us through the jaws of this virus and songs of love for those family and neighbors who did not. But for now, I’m going to keep putting music into the world that hopefully helps someone find ease of heart, while the planet is on pause.

Physical distancing is currently the only known tactic we have to fight this disease, but that doesn’t mean that we have to be socially distant. In fact, quite the opposite. Now is a time when all of us are being called to find new ways to hear others, be heard and hold space for the emotions that need breath. While all of us long for life to go back to normal, the coronavirus has also shown us that “normal” wasn’t always working, and we are all being called to create great change.

I wrote “I’m On Your Side” to share the message that despite the labels we put on each other to divide us into different groups and force us to choose sides, like political ideologies, gender, race, religion, sexuality and economic standing, we have a lot more in common than we do in difference. We all “stay awake at night wondering if will be all right,” or sit “…at the kitchen table counting up the bills to pay.” And in each of those situations where we start to feel hopelessness creeping in, when we feel most alone in the battle, I want the listener to know, I feel it too. I’m there with you in spirit, without judgment, in solidarity and “I’m On Your Side.”

“This Is How We Living” is about taking the time to celebrate the fun side of life. The break that all of us need and deserve from the chaos of our daily grind, and in gratitude for all the joy that life brings us despite all the hurt in the world. It’s also a gentle reminder that “If you’re looking for the problems in this world, you’re gonna find ‘em, all you’ve gotta do is look out the door. But if you’re looking for that good stuff, it’s already up inside you, all you’ve gotta do is just let it show.

This record started off as an idea: That it’s important in this time of division in the world to Work Hard And Be Nice To People. Before there was a song and an album by the title, I made a t-shirt for my band and crew that had the saying on it, because I wanted it to be our mantra on tour. When fans saw the shirt, they wanted it and it became our top-seller; it was so popular that I decided to write a song about the concept. Every song on the album is about the power of optimism to get us through our darkest moments and find the light in our loves, lives and for the planet. I collaborated with many different incredible songwriters and it was amazing to hear how all of them understood completely the idea of how important it is for people to have ease of heart in these troubled times. The need for emotions to be able to pass effortlessly as they arise. Music helps with that, and sometimes it brings out feelings we never even knew existed. As I set out making the record, I hoped that it would move people’s hearts and bodies and inspire people to take on the great challenges the world faces today, with courage, love and bold optimism!

Never in a million years would I have imagined we are where we are today with the entire world in self-quarantine, but as I listen to the songs on this record they are all about how we get through the greatest ups and downs of our lives with our body, mind and soul still in one piece.

Today, we are being called to connect with the hearts of others to literally bring about the healing of the planet. There is no higher calling, and I hope this music helps people know that they are not alone in the effort. Each person’s role makes a difference, and we will create billions of small victories that all add up…together!

Work Hard And Be Nice Track Listing is as follows:

  1. I Got You (Michael Franti & Chris Stevens)
  2. Sun and Moon (Michael Franti & Chris Stevens)
  3. Good Shit Happens (Michael Franti & Cappy Franti)
  4. I Can Still Feel You (Michael Franti & Carl Young)
  5. Start Small Think Big (Michael Franti, Chris Stevens. Brett Warren & Brad Warren)
  6. How We Living (Michael Franti & Tim Myers)
  7. Breaking Down The Door (Michael Franti & Tim Myers)
  8. The Friends Song (Michael Franti & Daniel Lubwama Kigozi)
  9. Lay It All Down (Michael Franti, Chris Stevens & James Yeary)
  10. P.S. I Love You (Michael Franti)
  11. Work Hard And Be Nice (Michael Franti & Jonathan Singleton)
  12. Is It Worth A Penny To You (Michael Franti & Carl Young)
  13. Walking Into The Sun (Michael Franti & Carl Young)
  14. All My Friends (Michael Franti & Tim Myers)
  15. I’m On Your Side (Michael Franti & Sean McConnell)
  16. Daycation (Michael Franti & Nathan Chapman)
  17. Watching The World Go By With You (Michael Franti & Carl Young)

RECORDED IN: Nashville, TN; San Francisco, CA; Los Angeles, CA
MASTERED BY: Chris Gehringer at Sterling Sound; Assisted by Will Quinnell
MIXED BY: Mario Borgatta, Dave Clauss, David Cook of Splash of Soda, Jeff Juliano at The Compound, Tim Myers, & Chris Stevens
PRODUCED BY: Michael Franti, Chris Stevens, Tim Myers, Nathan Chapman, & Sean McConnell


About Michael Franti
Michael Franti is a globally recognized musician, humanitarian, activist, and award-winning filmmaker revered for his high-energy live shows, inspiring music, devotion to health and wellness, worldwide philanthropic efforts and the power of optimism. Throughout his multi-decade career, Franti has earned Billboard No. 1’s with triumphantly hopeful hits “Sound of Sunshine” and “Say Hey (I Love You),” five Top 30 Hot AC singles, eight Top 25 AAA Singles and three Billboard Top 5 Rock Albums. In January 2019, Franti released his self-directed documentary “Stay Human,” which won an array of awards at film festivals worldwide and influenced his writing for his most recent album Stay Human Vol. II (Thirty Tigers), which debuted at No. 1 on both the Americana and Independent Album charts and received critical acclaim from USA TodayBillboard, Associated Press and Paste.

Michael Franti & Spearhead continue to foster their community both on and off stage with a wish granting non-profit, Do It For The Love, founded by Franti and his wife, Sara. Do It For The Love brings those with life threatening illnesses, veterans, and children with severe challenges to concerts worldwide, fulfilling over 3,300 wishes and touching the lives of over 12,000 people to date. Franti also owns SOULSHINE Bali, a 32-room top-rated yoga retreat hotel located in Ubud, Bali. Amidst touring, Michael Franti & Spearhead have been in recording studios in Nashville, Los Angeles, and San Francisco working with A-list writers and producers on their most diverse record yet, Work Hard And Be Nice, set for release June 19, 2020.

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