Macy Gray Celebrates 14 Year Debut Anniversary


By// Quassan Castro

Macy Gray first imprinted pop culture 14 years ago. Listeners had a hard time forgetting her signature raspy voice that’s at the same time soft and smooth. The uniqueness of Macy Gray’s range often draws comparison to Billie Holiday but her debut album, On How Life Is, established that a new musical badass was unleashed. You remember the classic single “I Ty,” right?. The song was played a zillion times on radio and seen on video equally as much. Together, On How Life Is and the single “I Try” sold more than 25 million units. Gray celebrated the 14-year anniversary of her first-born CD child with a special engagement tour.

Here, we chat with Macy Gray about her special anniversary tour, Aretha Franklin’s interesting views on touring and mothering and the moves she’s making with Lee Daniels and Nicole Kidman.

In celebration of the anniversary of your debut On How Life Is, you had an amazing tour lined up. How did fans respond to this celebration of what some deem as a classic CD?  

I completed my first show in DC. The vibe was like a big party. It was wild! Fans danced. I was surprised people remembered all of the songs from the album. Initially, I was nervous, I didn’t know if the shows would bore people.

Not long ago Aretha Franklin said in an interview to Kim Kardashian that babies belong at home not on tour. Did you ever take your sons on tour with you as infants?  Yes, my children went everywhere with me. When babies are first born you don’t really trust them with just anybody. My kids have been all over the world. They still go out on tour with me sometimes, but now as teenagers they want space.  Touring with my sons as babies was a good thing. I don’t know what she meant by that but I don’t have a problem with it.

Musically what are you working on?

I have a new CD coming out this year. We don’t have the date yet, but it’s coming!

Congrats on your major role alongside Nicole Kidman and John Cusack for the movie adaptation of Peter Dexter’s The Paperboy. What’s the premise of the film?

I play a maid name Anita. The movie takes place in the 60s in the South. It’s a really intriguing murder mystery.  I narrate the story, as well. Nicole Kidman and John Cusak are some of the greats, I work with on this Lee Daniels masterpiece.

Nicole Kidman, that’s major! Is she a social status snob like Reese Whitherspoon?

[Chuckles] No she’s not. She’s really sweet. I like her a lot.

Not many people know you studied screen writing. Any screen writing projects underway for you currently?

I just finished a screenplay with a partner of mine. We’re getting the script tight; you’ll hear about it soon.

Parting words?

Yes, I really appreciate the love and support shown from JET magazine and JET magazine online.

Quassan Castro is a news and entertainment journalist.

Follow him on twitter @Quassan.