Macy Gray ‘On How Life Is’ now

Macy Gray "On How Life Is"
Macy Gray plays Cipriani (110 E. 42nd St.) Wednesday, but tickets for this fundraiser are $2,500 (visit www.100womeninhedgefunds.org for more info). She plays World Cafe Live in Philly on Thursday for the more affordable price of $29 to $49 and at the Sinclair in Cambridge, MA on Friday for $49.

Macy Gray burst onto the music scene at the turn of the century, 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 person. 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 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 where I could communicate the way I always wanted to,” she says.

Macy Gray under cover
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 entirely made up of cover songs. “Talking Book” is a straight-up tribute to the Stevie Wonder album of the same name, while “Covered” features the songs of a disparate collection of artists who all seem to make sense when set to Gray’s signature voice. She covers Metallica, Arcade Fire and Colbie Caillat, to name a few.

“The ‘Covered’ album was just a lot of favorite 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 favorite albums of all time. I love that record. I knew that one the best. I knew every word. It was really organic.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

US military tried, but failed to rescue journalist…

The U.S. military earlier this year tried to rescue journalist James Foley and other American hostages held in Syria ,but failed to find the captives.

National

Fate of captured beluga whales in hands of…

A Georgia aquarium went to court on Wednesday seeking federal permission to bring 18 captured beluga whales to the United States from Russia.

Local

After Eric Garner death, religious leaders meet to…

Interfaith leaders convened with city officials to discuss what the community can do to help dial down heightened tensions after Eric Garner's death.

Local

'Suspicious' Hamilton Heights fire caused by power strip:…

An extension cord overload caused the deadly fire in Hamilton Heights late Monday that killed a 15-year-old girl and injured at least 12 others.

Television

'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Season…

And then there were six. It was a big night on stage as the Top 6 got to dance with each other, All-star partners and perform a solo routine.

Television

'Doctor Who' personality profile: the 4 Doctors

When the time comes for a new Doctor, there's always some anxiety over the big question: Who will he be? The series owes its longevity…

Television

Billy Crystal to commemorate late actor Robin Williams…

  Comedian Billy Crystal will pay tribute to late actor Robin Williams at television's Primetime Emmy Awards on Aug. 25, the show's organizers said on…

Going Out

Things to do this week in NYC, Aug.…

GAMES Hudson Common Open Aug. 21, 7 p.m. Hudson Common 356 W. 58 St. Free, www.hudsoncommonnyc.com The U.S. Open begins on Monday, but most of…

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

NFL

Jalen Saunders still unsure what caused car accident…

Jets rookie wide receiver Jalen Saunders spoke to the media Wednesday for the first time since his car accident, but he didn't say a whole lot.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL defense (DEF)

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL quarterbacks (QB)

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Wellbeing

Metabolic syndrome could have a sugar link

Scientists in St. Louis may have found another culprit in metabolic syndrome, which can lead to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.  Uric acid is…

Wellbeing

Another way stress hurts your unborn baby

Mothers know to try staying calm during pregnancy, as stress has been linked to behavioral and developmental problems for their babies. But now, a new…