The Story of Her

Macy Gray is a multi-award-winning American musician, songwriter, producer and actress. She has drawn comparisons to some of the world's most celebrated; including Billie Holliday and Janis Joplin. She is most renowned for her own approach to sound, lyrics and fashion.

Macy Gray's Early Days

Born Natalie McIntyre in Canton, Ohio, on September 6, 1969, Macy remembers very vividly, being bullied in her school years - remarkably for her voice.  "I had this super high pitched voice, and everytime I spoke, someone would laugh and mock me. So I stopped speaking in public.  I was so afraid of the rejection and humiliation. It made me quiet,  which was really devastating, because I had so much I wanted to say.  It forced me to find other ways of expressing myself - not consciously, it just went that way. I started making up songs...they would just pop in my head. As miserable as I was at school, I understand now that everything happened just the way it was supposed to.  Had I been accepted and popular in high school, I don't think I would have ever turned to music."

Despite her difficulties growing up, Macy was a gifted student who began Classical Piano Study at age 7  After being told by her mother that her only ticket out was college, Macy made a point to ace her high school education.  After graduating high school in 1987, she got acceptance letters from The USA Naval Acadamy, USC Film School and Standford Creative Writing. Macy chose USC FIlm School and moved to Los Angeles. 

Macy Gray's Education and Early Career

Macy Gray in a blue dress© Dave Hogan

While at film school, Macy met a young music major.  Charmed at first sight, she told him she was a passionate musician who wrote lyrics.  Macy was neither of those things at the time, but it worked! He invited her to his dorm room to write and record music on his 4-track.  "We started making songs after class and on weekends, and it just grew on me.  I had to be around music all the time. It wasn't so much that I loved it, I just couldn't do without it." 

Her first live performance was for a hotel brunch; singing with a jazz band - standards and old classics - while everybody ate and drown her out with conversation. "I'm singing my heart out, and everybody's at the buffet or the bar, talking way louder than I could sing."  After graduation, Macy opened her own night spot, called: THE WE OURS, a popular small club that featured open mic on the weekends. 

Over the next few years, Macy would work several jobs, most notably a production assistant at MTV and VH1.  In her spare time, she was recording whenever she could, making "demo tapes" to send to all the record labels, hoping an A&R would  dig the music she was creating.  In 1994 Atlantic records called and the 25 year old recorded her first album: "Thing of Beauty." She also became pregnant that year.  Once the label became aware, Macy was dropped - "Thing of Beauty" was never released. 

By 1997, Macy was married with three kids, living in North Hollywaood. "I Try" was floating around in music circles and in.the winter of '98 Macy was invited to meet the President of Epic Records, the late Ms. Polly  Anthony. "Macy Gray on How Life is" was released July 1, 1999.  The famous album is 5 time grammy nominated and has sold over 9 million copies.

5Starting July 1, 2024 we will begin the year long celebration of the 25th birthday of On How Life Is in Australia; and continue throughout the year in Europe, South America, Asia and the United States. 

 

Macy Gray at the premiere of Spider-Man© Ron Galella