Macy Gray is returning with a brand new album, The Way, slated for a release this summer, and of course with a new album comes new photos! We spoke to Macy about working with photographer Norman Seeff on a very unique photo shoot, her recording process and what the prettiest song on her new album is.
OK!: Let’s talk a little bit about these photos, what was the shoot with Norman Seeff like?
Macy Gray: Oh, it was insane, he’s really different and has really different style and has an approach to taking pictures and photo shoots that I’ve never done before. It was cool though, the pictures came out amazing and we had some awesome people on set, it was a lot of fun.
OK!: Was there anything specifically that stood out as very different about this experience for you?
MG: Well he has live cameras going the whole time and he’s interviewing you the whole time he’s shooting. It’s never like you’re just posing, and there’s no music playing. The whole time he’s taking pictures, he’s asking you questions and snapping the whole time. Getting like, natural immediate stuff. I was worried because I was talking and thinking my mouth was gonna be open in all the pictures but we ended up getting some really great pictures.
OK!: Was it hard for you to adjust to that or did you not find it too distracting?
MG: At first it was a little weird only because I’m awkward taking pictures anyway. I’m not the biggest fan of taking pictures. But you’re kind of forgetting you’re supposed to be posing, I don’t know it’s wild! I’ve never done it like that before. Usually you’re trying to give them something and then they tell you like, “Put your head down” and stuff like that. There was none of that, it was all really natural and we did three different looks. Most of them were standing, one of them I had to sing a song during it. And it’s not distracting as much as it’s just different. You forget that you’re taking pictures and then you’re taking picture and forget you’re supposed to be interviewing.It’s pretty wild.
OK!: Did you sing one of your songs?
MG: Yeah I sang a song off my new album. It’s cool because we have a recording of it and I haven’t done any video for my new album yet, so it’s cool.
OK!: Will you use any of that footage when you put together your official video?
MG: I’m not sure, I haven’t seen it but it was really simple. It was just me singing into a camera with my guitar players. It was real, it was extra basic.
OK!: What else did you talk about during the shoot, were you talking about movies or what you would have for lunch or other random things?
MG: Mostly it’s really cerebral, it’s like philosophising and asking questions about how I feel about being an artist and my approach to it and what I think of this and what I think of that. It’s mostly like getting my ideas and my perspective on different things. Just the creative process and being an artist and music and stuff like that.
Listen to “Stoned“, an album preview track above!
OK!: Perfect because I want to ask you about the new album, what can you tell us about it?
MG: Well it’s fantastic, it’s probably the best album I’ve heard in a long time and I’m happy that’s it’s mine. It’s coming out later this year. Its cool, it’s a record for grown ups, for people who have lived and have lives and know a lot about love. It’s interesting, I’ll be excited to see how people react to it.
OK!: Was there anything that inspired you musically or when writing? Anything in your life you wanted to sing about?
MG: No mostly I go into the studio and then a lot of ideas and things pop in my head when I get there. I wasn’t burning to tell a particular story, but when we were working a lot of things came out. It’s very therapeutic, making a record. So a lot of things came out and then we put all the songs together and they all went together and told a story on their own, without me forcing it.
OK!: Have you played any of these songs live for people and seen their reactions?
MG: Yeah we have a ballad called “The First Time” that I wrote with my keyboard player in my band and we’ve been playing that for a while, just that one song off the new album so that goes over really well, it’s real acoustic and it’s really beautiful. It’s simple and it’s the prettiest song on the album because the album is really grimy, raw and dirty and that’s the one that’s really pretty.
OK!: Any collaborations on the new album and any people you want to work with?
MG: I got these really awesome producers, songwriters and musicians together but there’s no celebrity collaborations just people I love working with and understood what I wanted to do and really nailed it.
Are you excited for Macy’s new album? What do you think of the preview track? Tell us in the comments below or on Twitter @OKMagazine.