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Interview: Macy Gray

In October, R&B Soul legend Macy Gray released her eighth album titled “The Way”, and in furtherance of her album we discussed futurism, what inspired her latest effort, her voice, being a mom and Kendrick Lamar fan. If you didn’t know Macy before, you’ll get to know her a little more through this interview. We laughed through the interview. The Way is now available to order on iTunes. You can order it via this link.

What was it like moving to California and entering the music business at a young age from Canton, Ohio?

It was stupid. Being from Canton, I didn’t know a lot or know enough in order to be afraid of anything.

With our research, we found out that you have credited your friend for your music career because your friend didn’t show up to a studio session. Are you still in contact with that friend?

Well, that’s how I started singing. It wasn’t that. It wasn’t my own music career. They didn’t show up and I just happened to be the only one at the studio that day. You know?

Right. Have you grown to love your voice since then?

Most of the time. There’s always things that I’m working on. I’m still going to love me.

You’ve always seemed to be ahead of the curve, being able to transcend between different genres so effortlessly and showcase a futuristic with songs like “Do Something” and teaming up later on with Where do you think that ability comes from?

Oh. Well, I think it comes from me having the ability of doing what I want to do. You know, I’m not good at following trends and doing what others want me to do. I think it’s like that because I like doing what I do and people may think, “Oh, you do things that are different and you just do that” but people feel it and that it really comes from the heart.

What are the differences in the music industry between now and when you first entered?

Oh, it’s like a million of them, to tell them we would be on the phone until Friday. Music has changed, so that’s number one. Social media has absolutely changed everything. The way people access music, a lot of people hear a song for the first time on YouTube. Physical copies are slowly going away. It’s different. Things are going to change but it is what it is. Music really can’t be exempted from that. It’s been a lot of adjustment to that for the past ten years or so. It is settling in into what it is going to be, so that’s good to know and everybody can get used to it and get into how it roll when those things start to work again. People spent a lot of time adjusting and struggling going to one thing to another. I do think that it is starting to calm down with the all of the changes and a lot more people will become more successful.

Do you run your own Twitter?

I do but I also have another account that someone else runs.

Which new artist are you listening to today? Does that artist remind you of yourself when you first started?

For the first half, I am feeling him. I’m a massive Kendrick Lamar fan. Is he still new?

Yeah, he’s still new.

Okay. I’m also loving Imagine Dragons. Some of the Rock ‘n Roll of today is really cool. There’s a band named Babe Ruth that I’m feeling. It’s a lot of music that I like especially with Pandora, and there’s times you may not know the name of the song or know who performed the song. There’s a lot of stuff that I’m hearing and people evolving, going back doing what they love to do. I think it’s going to be good and there’s a lot of realism.

Who are some of the people that you collaborated with on this album, The Way?

Mainly, I’m working with my buddy and he calls himself Royal D. You may not know him now but by next May, you’ll know especially with the song we did on this album. I’m also working with a guy name Jason Hill. He used to be in a Rock band called Louie the XIV. I’m also working with Booker T. [Jones]. He did the song “First Time” and the rest of the crew is my regular writers and musicians. We had a good time and I think the album is awesome. It’s not big on collaborations but Prodigy did a remix to one of my songs.

Yeah, Prodigy the band that’s known for “Smack My Bitch Up”.

Yeah, those guys and they did an amazing remix to one of my songs. I’m looking towards collaborating that way. The album is done and there’s no big features on it.

What do you have planned for the tour? Do you have anything special that you can share?

Yeah, we’re working on that. We’re trying to get the show packed musically. We are doing small venues. We’re not going to have any fireworks and all but it’s going to be awesome. I’m excited about it.

You’re releasing this album through 429?

No, I’m with Kobalt and my own label, Moon Tides.

Why did you name the album, The Way?

There’s a song on the album with the same name. It’s about looking for the way out. I turned forty and things start to get faded out. I’m still trying to figure it out. It’s like being on journey mode and trying to find what you want to do and how you’re going to do it. That’s what the whole album is about.

Since you do both so well. What is you first love, singing or acting?

Singing is really natural for me. I can sing in my sleep or upside down, sideways. Just playing music. I love it and it excites me. I am interested in expanding my acting career and doing other things.

You studied scriptwriting in college. Is that a skill that you still utilize outside of songwriting?

Yeah, I’m actually in the middle of writing a musical and it’s taking a lot longer than I thought but I’m getting there. It’s about high school and I just realized that it’s been a while since I’ve been in high school. It’s been so long and I’m learning and getting stories from my kids. It is taking longer than I thought but I do plan on finishing it before the end of the year and hopefully, I’ll have it on stage in a couple of years.

While being a mother of three kids. Did you find it hard in being a mother and finding time to record music?

Yeah. In music, in general, it’s hard being a musician because it’s like you’re self-employed all of the time. While being a mother or just a working woman, you have to wake up deal with your priorities and they’re all priorities. Sometimes while hanging out with friends, you don’t think about it but when you come home, you just adjust and get used to it. I would say that it is a massive challenge in being a mother, even if they are not working.

With “I Try” still being an anthem showing how people can be sprung and so in love with their partners. Where did the inspiration of that song come from? While listening to it, you can still feel the love from it.

Thank you. That song was done when I was with my ex-husband from a long time ago.

Also, just to let you know. My younger sister, wanted me to tell you that the theme song for As Told By Ginger is the soundtrack for her life.

Tell her I said, thank you very much.

As always, we here at the magazine really appreciate your time and we love what you do.

Thank you, I had a great time.

Ryan White (Transcriptionist)

For more Macy Gray, just click here.

Written by Richardine Bartee

Her unprejudiced love for people, the arts, and business have taken her this far. Join Richardine on her journey as she writes history into existence, one article at a time. Richardine is a member of the Recording Academy/GRAMMYs, and a GRAMMY U Mentor. She is the North American Press Agent and US Business Manager for Oxlade; Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

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