Soon to be blazing through Singapore’s annual F1 Weekend for The Yak-backed VIP after-parties at The Podium Lounge, Grammy-winning Soul-crooner Macy Gray was gracious enough to share some time online with us to get our engines running.
So Macy, have you been to Bali before? Any first impressions you can remember?
Yes, Bali’s definitely one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to. I cannot wait to come back, again and again!
Growing up – how did you first get into music? Are you from a musical family?
When I was growing up my parents were always playing old records around the house. I definitely grew up in a musical household. I started playing music when I was seven years old. When I got to college at the University of Southern California, I used to hang around school bands and a bunch of other musicians all the time, and I began writing lyrics for them, so I could hang around this guitarist I fancied. One night his singer didn’t show up, so I got the opportunity to step up and perform as the lead singer, and the rest is history! When I became famous, I got married and have subsequently had three beautiful kids.
Who would you say were your strongest influences in high school days and why?
Besides so many different musical influences and records I would listen to, I would say my family . . . for obvious reasons, because high school wasn’t always easy at times, so having that unconditional support helped me get through it. I was teased for my funny voice and big head, but that’s where I was seduced by the three icons of the 80s: Madonna, Michael Jackson and Prince. I even painted my bedroom purple in homage to his landmark album, Purple Rain!
How do you see the whole music industry scene these days? Pre and post-Youtube days?
It’s so different! Artists are having to tour more and more as records aren’t selling for everyone. You need to be exrtremely creative and constantly come up with cool content. Ultimately you still have to create amazing music.
Your most recent album Stripped uses a binaural microphone for recording a more natural acoustic listening experience – how did you find this experience and would you continue this for future recordings?
It was different but came out great. We used one microphone for the entire recording process, which took just 48 hours. Back in the day, that’s how they made records. It’s a very natural sound.
It’s for people who are music aficionados – audiophiles. I definitely plan on putting out more jazz albums. Not necessarily the exact same way, but I just love making jazz records. Maybe put out singles or something.
Any future collaborations or projects you would like to see happen?
I can maybe see some future colloborations into some crossover-Country and would love to collaborate with artists in Asia. I think that would be incredible and continue promoting new music across the world and tour.
What’s your toughest challenge these days?
I try not to look at what my challenges are, but rather what I’m great at and just master that.
How do you see President Trump so far? Do you think the music community could have done more to deter this?
I think he needs to figure it out or who knows what will happen. He’s an amateur – he’s never done this before. This dude has never even been a mayor and I think that’s dangerous, that’s dangerous for our country when he talks to other world leaders who have devoted their entire careers to politics.
What’s your dream?
To headline and play at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.
Anything comfortable. I love wearing heels and dressing up on stage but it’s painful. Ha!
Macy’s latest album Stripped is available at chesky.com/album/stripped