Michael Franti (born April 21, 1966, in Oakland, California) is the creator and lead vocalist of Michael Franti & Spearhead, a band that blends hip hop with a variety of other styles including reggae, jazz, folk and funk. Franti developed a fascination with music and decided to start a band. He began his music career in 1986 as part of the industrial punk band The Beatnigs. Their records received some critical acclaim but little notoriety beyond the San Francisco Bay Area.
In 1994, Franti formed a new band called Spearhead with a few studio musicians, including mainstay Carl Young.