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scene Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Write, sing, repeat — it’s the Macy Gray way Looking back. The singer’s new tour takes on her old material, which “still resonate to the present,” she says

Macy’s motto

“I’m not a look-back person. I rarely do that. It still means a lot to me, and what’s happening in my life now.”

Mara Littman

Metro World News

Macy Gray Talking about how she approaches her life after 14 years in the music industry

At the turn of the century, Macy Gray burst onto the music scene, winning multiple Grammy and MTV awards for her 1999 album, On How Life Is. Audiences fell for her signature raspy voice and unique blend of soul, rock, disco and hip-hop. Her sound was both new and retro. Gray is still doing this same two-step of one foot in the future and one pointing to the past with her current tour, which takes listeners through the full On How Life Is album. She is adamant that the tour is a bigger step forward than it is a step back, though. “I’m not a look-back per-

venues that are the same size as the ones she played when she was first starting out doesn’t seem to faze her. “You learn a lot playing clubs and having people right in your face,” she says. “But my mind and my heart are always on the same planet. That doesn’t change for me. The atmosphere, the vibe and how loud the crowd is, (that’s) always different.” Although a lot has changed with how life is since On How Life Is, Gray says the biggest change has been an internal one. “I just really got, in these last few years, to the point

Macy Gray is slowly making her way back into the spotlight with her new tour. getty images

son. I rarely do that. It still means a lot to me, and what’s happening in my life now,” she says of the album. “When I’m up there (the songs) still resonate to the present. I didn’t write them to be that

way, but I think with simple life stuff, you’ll have it years from now. You’re still dealing with love, your spirit and yourself, forever.” In the 14 years since her initial fame, Gray has raised

three children, appeared in a number of films and produced seven studio albums. Life remains her biggest commercial success. The fact that she’s performing these songs at

where I could communicate the way I always wanted to,” she says. Since On How Life Is clocks in at less than 45 minutes, she’s bound to dip into other material. Gray’s two most recent albums, both released in 2012, are made up of all cover songs. Talking Book is a straightup tribute to the Stevie Wonder album of the same name, while Covered features the songs of a disparate collection of artists that all seem to make sense together with Gray’s signature voice. She covers Metallica, Arcade Fire and Colbie Caillat, to name a few. “The Covered album was just a lot of favourite songs. It came down to songs that I could sing from the heart, that were personal to me, and that I could be genuine in singing them,” she says. As for Talking Book, she says, it’s “one of my favourite albums of all time. I love that record. I knew that one the best. I knew every word. It was really organic.”

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