Gulf News


Macy Gray smashed to success with I Try, but by the time her third album sank, it was clear she was crumbling. Her new album might have what it takes to make her big again, says Dan Cairns


Few people do bored quite like Macy Gray. Sitting, with her feet on a stool, in her New York bedroom, the 39-year-old is getting her nails done, and she barely acknowledg­es the tiny beautician­s who minister silently to her fingers and toes. She’s going for cream and chocolate today, creating a reverse effect with her fingernail­s topped off with a thin line in dark brown, which merely makes her hands look as if she’s been out potting plants and has forgotten to have a good scrub with a nailbrush. Gray only rouses herself to address her courtiers when there is a slight misunderst­anding about the bill — and, briefly, it looks as if a Macy moment is about to occur. It becomes clear that a gratuity is expected, and Gray, looking down at the invoice and then up at the women with a dangerousl­y dark expression in her eyes, says incredulou­sly: “That’s $239 (Dh877). Are you asking me for a tip?”


A few years ago, this is the point at which the scenario might well have taken a very nasty turn indeed. Back then, Gray had a reputation that can best be described


“In retrospect,” she says, in her sandpapere­d helium rasp, “I think I needed to be humbled.” (Gray left Sony after her third album, 2003’s The Trouble with Being Myself, flopped.) “I had developed a really huge ego; I wasn’t the person I had been. And I had a little drug habit for a while; I wasn’t keeping in touch with the people who did really care for me. Looking back, maybe I needed that. And, you know, if I’d kept going, I might be this horrible person — shaving my head, or in rehab or some s*** like that.”

She lets out a gurgling, phlegmy cackle at this point, another sign that the new Macy is in the room today, as is the amount of eye contact this famously evasive intervie- as tricky. Drugs, hangers-on, shockingly bad punctualit­y problems and paranoia brought on by her declining record sales meant that she’d fetched up with very little goodwill in the bank. But on this occasion, the shadow that has briefly passed across her face vanishes, and Gray, with a regal sweep of her drying hands, signs for an absurdly generous tip, and then ushers the diminutive helpmeets from the room.

 ?? GULF NEWS ARCHIVE ??, of The Black Eyed Peas has come to Macy Gray’s rescue.
GULF NEWS ARCHIVE, of The Black Eyed Peas has come to Macy Gray’s rescue.
 ??  ?? Macy Gray is back on track.
Macy Gray is back on track.

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