Macy Gray Interview By: Rob Smittix -“The Reset” Tour Kicks Off In Troy, NY on Sept 29th!
Written by Staff on September 25, 2023
RRX: It’s Rob Smittix and we’re here for RadioRadio X and Xperience Monthly and I believe I have the one and only Macy Gray on the line. Hello there.
MG: Hey, how are you?
RRX: Great! Oh my God, it’s so good to hear your voice!
MG: You too.
RRX: (Laughs) Thanks so much. How’s today treating you so far?
MG: It’s good, this is the first thing I’m doing today, so we’ll see. Haha.
RRX: Yeah me too (Laughs). I’m definitely thankful to have you here on the line, I’m also thankful that you’re coming to town, here in our area, the Capital Region. September 29th at The Troy Music Hall, Macy Gray and the California Jet Club. So just curious what are we to expect from a Macy Gray show in 2023?
MG: It’s going to be interesting, we totally re-did our set, it’s more about the new album “The Reset.” We actually have one new band member and two new crew, so it’s going to be new for us too. Since the beginning our shows have always been very musical and fun. People dance, sweat, scream and start making out, it’s going to be good. It’s always a good night.
RRX: Excellent. So the newer album “The Reset,” is what you’re touring on right now. Tell us a little bit about the album.
MG: It’s a very beautiful album. We recorded it during Covid. It’s all live musicians plugged in and it was my first time writing with my band. It took me out of my norm a little bit and forced me to write different kind of songs. It was written during a really tumultuous time in our country. There was a lot of emotion going on, ups and downs; it’s a great album and I’m super proud of it.
RRX: Absolutely and you should be. It’s really cool that you have new music, I love the fact that even after your big hits, tremendous success, multi-Grammy nominations and your Grammy win that your not really like all of the mainstream music that’s out there. I love that. You’re just doing you’re own thing and you’re not really following the leader. More or less. I’m sure that you’ve run into some of the elements that the industry creates, how do you separate yourself from what everyone else is doing and stay genuine to who you are?
MG: I just do what I do, I don’t really know how to do anything else but what I do. I don’t know how to write or sing any other way. That’s just me. I work with a lot of other people. It’s always awesome to collaborate and get other angles on my music. People talk about how genuine I am but I really don’t have a choice. I really don’t know how to be anything else. That’s it!
RRX: I respect that though. Just being on this side of the industry and doin this practically my whole life, I’ve seen where a lot of people change in this business but you don’t really seem to have become anyone else. You also seem like you’d be one of the coolest people to hang out with.
MG: Yeah, I find my fun. You know? I have kids, anybody who has kids is at least a little bit grounded. Can’t help it.
RRX: I’ve got kids too, I get it. You’re a family woman, do you bring these real life elements into the writings of your new music?
MG: Yeah. Inspiration is always based on where I’m coming from. It’s always definitely real for me.
RRX: We obviously know Macy Gray for the music, is there anything that would surprise people to know about you? A hobby or an interest?
MG: I’m from the Mid-West so I like my card games, my Spades. I roller-skate, I’m not a bad roller-skater.
RRX: No kidding.
MG: I don’t have a swimming suit so when I go swimming, I swim in my clothes, kind of embarrassing but I’m so used to it. I don’t know, I just do my thing everyday. I like football, I’m excited about football season. I like sports, my favorite is boxing, I love boxing. My Dad was a huge Muhammad Ali fan. My Mom would leave and he’d just make me sit there and watch sports all day. So I’ve always been a sports fan. I bet on sports, I’m like a dude when it comes to sports.
RRX: See I told you, you’d be really cool to hang out with.
MG: Yeah, that’s all my Dad (influence). I would be watching cartoons and he’d just turn the channel to a basketball game or something.
RRX: How cool would it be if I was just driving down the street one day and there you are roller-skating?
MG: (Laughs) That’s probably not going to happen!
RRX: I thank you for sharing. People don’t often get to see who the person is behind the music. Learning and discovering about who you are, what makes you who you are and becoming the creative artist that you are. It’s really cool.
MG: Thank You.
RRX: Have you played any sports yourself?
MG: Yeah that’s the other thing, when I was a kid my parents focused on keeping me busy because they didn’t want me to get into trouble. So I had to take up a sport every season, I did volleyball, basketball and track; every year until I think… eleventh grade. I was terrible I’m not an athlete at all, it was embarrassing, I was always on the bench but I had to play, so…
RRX: Hey, even the bench warmers are part of the team. Now were you doing music back then?
MG: Yeah, I started taking piano lessons when I was seven and I took them all the way until I got out of school. I know chords and changes, I can sit and play you a tune but I’m not going to rock your world with my piano playing but I can play.
RRX: That explains it, you’ve been doing music pretty much as far back as you can remember.
MG: Yeah. My Mom and Dad, were kind of partiers and they always had music on, extremely social and kind of loud. So we always had music playing in the background. But it’s cool because I’m so open, you know? When I hear stuff, I hear different things that the average person doesn’t. I listen for different stuff, I’ll hear a song that I don’t even like but it might be something about the snare that I dig. You know what I mean?
RRX: I do.
MG: But that’s just being a musician. Anybody who’s a musician listens to music a little bit differently. So you know, that was it. Mostly my parents being so afraid of me getting into trouble that they just kept me busy with all kinds of stuff when I was little.
RRX: Well that’s cool, that’s what kids need these days. Many people believe that the greatest music has already been made and they don’t have a lot of faith in the new generations and what’s coming out. I tend to disagree, I think some of the greatest music is still being made but I don’t think it gets the promotion that you would expect.
MG: There’s so much music coming out. Someone said there are 80,000 songs released… every week or every day, I forget. It’s ridiculous, it’s impossible to know everything that’s going on, it’s over saturated. There’s a new style, new melody, new approach to making records. People always talk about the old being so much better but it’s just new. What’s happening now will influence what’s coming out in the next ten years. I think if you’re open you’ll enjoy it, instead of worrying about what they did fifty years ago.
RRX: I appreciate you, we very much look forward to seeing you September 29th at The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, it’s a beautiful theater and I think the crowd is going to be great. Is there anything you’d like to say to people to encourage them to come on out?
MG: Just come on out, we’re going to have a ball. All of my shows are super fun and I’m going to make sure everybody has a smile on their face by the end of the night!
Macy Gray and the The California Jet Club at Troy Savings Bank Music Hall September 29th at 8pm Get Tickets HERE!