10 Questions with ... Macy Gray
February 9, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Macy Gray is a Grammy Award winning R&B and soul singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, and actress, known for her distinctive raspy voice, and a singing style. She is heavily influenced by Billie Holiday and Betty Davis.
Macy broke through with her international hit single "I Try", taken from her multi-platinum debut album "On How Life Is." The singer has released six studio albums and has appeared in a number of films, including "Training Day," "Spider-Man," "Scary Movie 3," "Lackawanna Blues," "Idlewild" (with Andre 3000 of OutKast), and "For Colored Girls." Macy is currently filming her latest movie, "Where The Children Play."
Macy is back with a new album called "The Way" and will be doing an upcoming UK tour to support the album. She also has two hot new music videos for the songs, "Bang Bang," and "Hands."
1) Hi Macy! How are you today? What's on the agenda today besides our interview?
I'm acting in a movie called "Where the Children Play." It's a great script. I'm on set all day and night today.
2) I'm so excited about your new album, "The Way," which just came out this past October. How is this album different than your previous albums? Was there a particular vibe or overall theme that you wanted to capture on this album?
It's an evolution for me. I've grown so much as a person and a musician. I just wanted to make something insanely great. I wanted intense ear candy and detail and symphony. Something people can feel. I want to make people happy.
3) You just released two new singles off the new album, "Bang, Bang," and the second single, "Hands." Care to elaborate on the inspiration for those sweet tracks?
It's just about desire and feeling good.
4) I understand that before singing, you were studying scriptwriting at the University of Southern California. Macy, for those who don't know how did your musical journey begin? How were you "discovered"?
I was playing at a club in Hollywood. Eight people showed up. One was an A&R guy.
5) What is your songwriting process like? How do you capture inspiration when it comes to you?
Honestly, shit just pops into my head.
6) You are known for your R&B, soul, neo-soul and pop sound. Who were your influences growing up?
Bob Marley, Chaka Khan, Prince, Robert Plant, Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Whitney Houston, Mary J. Blige, Mick Jagger, Kurt Cobain, Biggie Smalls, and a bunch of others.
7) Who is in your current playlist, Macy?
Kendrick Lamar and Penny and the Quarters.
8) You have collaborated with lots of incredible people. Your album, The Id featured appearances by John Frusciante (Red Hot Chili Peppers), and Erykah Badu on the single, "Sweet Baby."
You've also collaborated with Carlos Santana on the track, "Amore (Sexo)", for his album, "Shaman" as well as other notable musicians such as Jeff Beck, Justin Timberlake, will.i.am, D'Angelo, Queen Latifah, The Black Eyed Peas, Nile Rodgers and Natalie Cole. Is there anyone else you would love to collaborate with next?
Right now I'm working on two collaborations with Galactic and Steven Lee. My favorite artist right now is J. Cole. A song with him is definitely on my bucket list.
9) Macy, you have appeared in quite a few movies such as the thriller, "Training Day," "Spider-man," "Scary Movie 3," "Lackawanna Blues," "Idlewild" (with Andre 3000 of Outkast) and "For Colored Girls." Besides scriptwriting, do you enjoy acting as well?
I love acting. Singing I do in my sleep, but acting is still a challenge for me and that's exciting to have something to be working towards. As I said earlier, right now I'm shooting an independent movie called "Where the Children Play." It's an excellent script with an excellent cast. I can't wait to see it!
10) What's on tap next for you, Macy? What are you most excited about for this year?
My European tour. I am most excited about touring there, because the United Kingdom was the first to embrace my first album. I have a lot of dreams and plans like everybody else in the world. This year I'm gonna make it all happen!
*Special thanks to Nicole DeRosa for conducting this interview.