Macy Gray reflects on 24 years of making music, new projects Chris Campbell Friday, July 21, 2023 | Sacramento, CA Listen / Update RequiredTo play audio, update browser or Flash plugin. Courtesty of the artist Possessing one of the most unique voices in the music industry, Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Macy Gray has used her raspy distinctive vocal style through 11 album releases. Best known for her international hit single “I Try,” Gray’s career has been defined by being one of music’s most eclectic ambassadors. Music wasn’t always her original dream — Gray originally went to college for scriptwriting at University of Southern California. She wrote a song for a friend, but their vocalist didn’t show up to record it. Gray sang in their stead, and the rest became history. Ahead of her July 21 performance with R&B Artist Maxwell at the Thunder Valley Casino Resort, CapRadio’s Chris Campbell spoke with Gray about her latest album, her work in film and how motherhood informs her music. Interview Highlights This interview has been edited for clarity and length. On her debut album ‘On How Life Is’ turning 24 and its enduring impact on music That album was about me turning 30 years old. That album was about me being a girl, being Black and turning 30 in America. The album exemplified a concept album, an album that tells a story. I like that kind of thing. On the uniqueness of her voice I always knew that [my voice] must be for a reason because it was so peculiar. I knew music and played piano, and wrote songs for fun. I had a friend whom I went to school with [at USC] who had a 4-track recorder in his dorm room. I made these cassette tapes of me singing ideas to him. This other kid — who I went to school with as well — had a jazz band, and he was listening to my tapes and encouraging me to sing with his jazz band on Sundays. I fell in love [with music] as a whole process creatively. On motherhood and how work/life balance has informed her music The thing you get out of being a parent is that you learn how to figure things out. You get in the rhythm of making things work and coming out on the upside and doing what's best for everybody and not just for yourself. That leaks into the way I do music and the way I am with my band. On how she has realized her original dream of being in the film industry I originally wanted to be an actor, screenwriter and filmmaker. I love working in the industry. I just did an animated film with [comedian] Martin Lawrence, and it's called "Sneaks." It's about sneakers that talk. We're doing a pilot for a television series, and other than that [I'm keeping my eye out] for other deals [and everyday stuff.] On recently announced an international tour with her band, The California Jet Club I'm a bigger artist [now] and a lot better at my craft and songwriting. My musicians are also on that level, and we're really serious about what we do, and the album came out that way. We'll give everything we have when on the stage. All I care about is everyone being happy. I'd recommend you catch our live performances — highly.