Her voice is inimitable and with ten studio albums under her belt, has penetrated the airwaves well beyond her most recognizable 1999 hit, “I Try.” Macy Gray has earned five Grammy Award nominations throughout her career as a singer-songwriter, winning Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 2001. Over the years, Gray has lent her stellar vocals to artists like Common, Black Eyes Peas, and Ariana Grande. “You collaborate no matter what when you make music. Some people aren’t famous but any time you make a record, you’re collaborating,” Gray says of making music.
On Gray’s tenth studio album, Ruby, released in 2018, the singer’s signature vocals do not waver, and her creative spirit reverberates through each and every track. The attitude Gray channeled for the album is perhaps a bit nonchalant in theory but continues to radiate through her today. “I’m doing stuff I want to do and not really thinking so much. It’s been working out for me really well. I’m trying not to think so much,” she tells me. In particular, her song “Buddha” featuring Gary Clark Jr., showcases Gray’s newfound mantra. “The song is about living in the present and focusing on where you’re at now. I think that’s healthy for everybody,” Gray explains. “Sometimes you can get really down about things that have happened or things you’ve gone through and the future is always stressful because you don’t have it yet. So, the present is always the safest space mentally.”
Gray worked with a slew of impressive songwriters on Ruby, including Ryan Tedder, Meghan Trainor, and Tommy Brown. The result is a sparkling collection of music showcasing Gray’s soulful narrative under a reinvigorated spotlight. Embracing a positive attitude and clear head, Gray says that after decades of writing and creating music, “I really love all of it. I even love the bad parts and the shitty days. I love every bit of it. It bums you out from time to time but I love doing it, the whole nine.”