The Montreal Review: Macy, your real name is Natalie Renee McIntyre. How Natalie has
Macy Gray: I saw Macy Gray on a mailbox in my neighborhood growing up as a kid. I always thought it was a cool name. I wanted an alias, like all rock stars had, and I knew it had to be Macy Gray.
TMR: Your voice is notable, it is "Macy Gray's voice". But at the
beginning of your career there were people who weren't sure that your
specific voice will help you to make great music. How did you overcome this pessimism?
Macy Gray: Well, I got made fun of a lot growing up. So I didn't talk much as a kid. When I told my mom I wanted to be a singer, she didn't think much of it. "How are you going to sing when you barely talk?" she'd say. But my voice was a gift from God, so I'm really lucky.
TMR: Your new studio album, "Covered", released earlier this year,
consists of dark old love songs from diverse music genres. Why did you turn to the past?
Macy Gray: Nina Simone did a cover album where she took a bunch of different songs and turned them into Nina Simone songs. I always wanted to do that... So, I took a bunch of songs that aren't typical Macy Gray songs and made them Macy Gray songs.
TMR: Do you think that music industry and people's taste for good music have changed in the recent two decades?
Macy Gray: Yes, the music industry has definitely changed. The internet has made music accessible to everyone and also given people the ability to record a song and upload it and make it available to everyone in the same day.
TMR: In interviews for other magazines, you mentioned Nina Simone and
Billie Holiday as your biggest influences. What do you like in these artists?
Macy Gray: Nina Simone and Billy Holiday put their soul into their music. I really like that.
TMR: How important is song lyrics for you?
Macy Gray: Song lyrics are very important to me. They tell the story of the song. But songs mean different things for everyone. So how it's sang is really important too.
TMR: What are the most important things in your life?
Macy Gray: My children.
TMR: What do you read now?
Macy Gray: Trashy gossip magazines.