Macy Gray Aiming to Release Two Albums in 2011
Macy Gray isn't wasting any time getting to work on a follow-up to her 2010 album "The Sellout" -- and she plans to spend a lot more time working on new music in the future.
"I want to make a lot of records this year," Gray, who's had gaps of three and four years between her last three albums, tells Billboard.com. "I actually want to put out two records this year. I want to do a jazz record. I want to do a rock record. I have so much music in me, I'm kind of doing myself a disservice by not putting it out as fast as it comes."
Gray adds, "I just feel like I don't make enough records. All my heroes made a lot of records. I was looking at the Nina Simone discography the other day; she just made so many records, and some of them was awesome. Bob Marley, in the short time he was here he made so many records. So I just want to make records and put them out and see what people think instead of making a record and then waiting to do another one until I'm done touring three years later. I just don't want to do that anymore."
Gray says she's already eight songs into her next album with producer Hal Wilner, which she describes as "a kind of underground record. Forget about all the standards and structures of how a song should be written; it's kind of this uninhibited, to the left record. It has nothing to do with commercial radio. It'll probably sell two copies, but I love it."
Working with Wilner, Gray says, has been "awesome. He's really experienced. He doesn't get egotistical about things, or upset. He's totally organized. There's no drama; everything's all ready for you, and I like that. It inspires this great environment where you can focus on the music and you're not worried about all the other things people worry about when they get in the studio."
Gray isn't predicting when the new album will be finished, but she promises that on its heels "we're definitely going to do a lot more things this year, but the (Wilner album) is the thing I'm most excited about."
Gray also made news recently for her decision to perform in Tel Aviv next month despite requests from political factions that she boycott Israel. Gray made the decision after querying her fans via Facebook and getting a solid response in favor of playing the show.
"I just don't believe boycotting entertainment there is the right path to take," Gray explains. "I think we're all aware there's conflict there. It's a grave and unfortunate situation and so deep that I think anybody who doesn't live in Israel or in Palestine can truly understand it. But for the life of me, I do not see how not performing helps the situation.
"I think music...really, all we do is offer people an escape," Gray adds. "Most songs last about four minutes, so for four minutes you get peace and you get to go away from all your drama. That's what we do, and I just don't understand how NOT doing that helps anyone. I think there's a great amount of people there who have their beliefs and will fight for what they want to fight for, but they still want to be entertained."