Macy Gray hopes new ‘Ruby’ tracks can help turn political complaints into actions

Macy Gray will perform a two-night New Year's Eve show on Dec. 30 and 31 at the Iridium in Midtown. Photo Credit: Getty Images for Le Vian Corp/David Becker

The artist will perform tracks off her new album during a New Year’s Eve show at Iridium.

Macy Gray will perform a two-night New Year's Eve show on Dec. 30 and 31 at the Iridium in Midtown.
Macy Gray will perform a two-night New Year’s Eve show on Dec. 30 and 31 at the Iridium in Midtown. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

Whether she’s discussing her team-up with Meghan Trainor, her new album, or the provocative nature of the song “White Man,” you can sense the importance Macy Gray feels behind her every word.

It’s a trait she carries with her to her new album, the fresh sounding “Ruby.” It’s also the same kind of passion and energy she is eager to unload for a special two-night New Year’s Eve show in New York City, Dec. 30 and 31.

amNewYork had the chance to sit with Gray to talk about the expectations of performing on New Year’s Eve, the message behind some of the new tracks, and the chance encounter that lead to her collaboration with Trainor.

What was the inspiration behind these new songs?

When you’re in the studio, it’s all about what everyone’s going through and what’s on everyone’s mind. And sometimes, it all comes together and you get a song out of it. That’s really what was going on in my life at the time, what I was feeling, things I was thinking about and things I was trying to figure out.

Speaking of things going on at the time, I thought “White Man” was a very provocative and contemporary song.

It was definitely inspired by our President. I’m just disappointed in our Congress. And all of us. I’m hoping we can all come together and do something about it. It’s all opinions and complaints right now. Now, I haven’t done much about it either. I want to make people happy and inspire people. And hopefully my songs do that. And hopefully that’s my contribution. But I want to do more. I don’t want to be another one who just sits back and complains about it.

A less controversial tune on the record is “Sugar Daddy,” co-written by Meghan Trainor. How’d that collaboration come about?

We were at the same studio and she popped into my room. She told me she had this big idea called “Sugar Daddy” and we wrote it that night. She’s a beautiful girl. She’s got a lot of ideas. I think she’s going to be the next Carole King if she keeps going. She’s a gifted writer.

You’re playing New Year’s Eve in NYC. What’s the set list like for a show like that? Is it different from a normal concert of yours?

That’s a very good question. I think there is a mood … the fans that come are more ready to have a good time. If you’re just going to a concert, hopefully it will be great. But on New Year’s Eve you go out with this expectation to have an amazing night. It’s such a legend for partying, but we just do our thing. You can put up Champagne and confetti and all that, but we just do our show.

If you go: Macy Gray is performing on Dec. 30 & 31 at 8 & 10:30 p.m at Iridium, 1650 Broadway, iridium,com, $65-$1,500.

Michael Dolce