Posted On 24 Jan 2015
Tag: #indie, All Access, All Access Music, All Access Music Group, Andre 3000, Artist Interview, Bang, Biggie Smalls, Billie Holiday, Bob Marley, Chaka Khan, Galactic, Grammy, Grammy Awards, GRAMMY winning, Hands, Hollywood, Idlewild, independent movie, J. COLE, John Frusciante, Kendrick Lamar, Kurt Cobain, Lackawanna Blues, Macy Gray, Mary J Blige, Mick Jagger, Neo-Soul, Nina Simone, OutKast, Penny and the Quarters, Pop, Prince, R&B, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Robert Plant, songwriting, Soul, Spiderman, Stan Lee, Steven Lee, Stoned, The Way, Training Day, UK, University of Southern California, USC, Where The Children Play, Whitney Houston
Macy Gray, the Grammy winning R&B and soul singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, AND actress, known for her distinctive raspy voice, and a singing style heavily influenced by Billie Holiday and Betty Davis is back with a new album called The Way. Macy has an upcoming UK tour to support the album and she also has two hot new music videos for the songs, “Bang Bang,” and “Hands.”
Macy is best known for 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 took time out while filming her latest movie, “Where The Children Play” to answer a few questions for All Access Music writer, Nicole DeRosa. Read more in their candid interview below:
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.
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.
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.
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.
What is your songwriting process like? How do you capture inspiration when it comes to you?
Honestly, shit just pops into my head.
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.
Who is in your current playlist, Macy?
Kendrick Lamar & Penny and the Quarters
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.
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. Its an excellent script with an excellent cast. I can’t wait to see it!
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.
To stay up with the latest MACY GRAY news and for her UK tour dates, visit her website here .