The SoulBounce Q&A: Macy Gray Talks Sliding In DMs, Her Latest Video ‘Buddha,’ How She Really Feels About Trap & Her New Album


SoulBounce: Tell us about your single “Buddha.” What made you add Gary Clark Jr. to the track?

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Macy Gray: I actually met him at AFROPUNK, the festival in Brooklyn. So I ran into him, and we just talked about doing something together. Then shortly after that we wrote that song, and I just thought he’d be perfect. He was kinda on my radar. Because I had met him and stuff. We were talking about guitar solos and I was like, oh sh*t, I just met Gary!

SB: So it was meant to be?

MG: We called him up, and he gave it back to me in two days. He was really excited about it.

SB: So now you have a video for it. We see Teyana “Spike Tee” Taylor directed it. How did that come about?

MG: I had seen her video, everyone knows she directs videos, the one where she was dancing by herself. I was watching one of her videos, and I was like “she’d be perfect.” It was the same kind of thing, where people pop in your head you know, and actually Sharon, I told her to DM her and they hit us back. It was the same thing, I was shocked like “we’re never gonna hear from them, she don’t read her DMs,” but her people hit us right back and then we did it!

SB: So you just have that intuition, a higher sense of just knowing what you’re looking for. And it all started with a DM.

MG: [laughs] I know right, what did we do before DMs?

SB: I know, well, while we’re on the topic, who else are you DM-ing?

MG: Okay, let me think. I don’t know, I do little comments on my troll account. That’s about it.

SB: So what’s happening in the video? What do you want people to take away from it when they watch it?

MG: It’s amazing because the song is about being in the now. So Buddha has this famous quote that says “concentrate the mind on the present” it’s about living your best life like right now, instead of the past or worrying about the future. So it’s kind of this little visit into my past but showing where it brought me now. The past might have been difficult, but now it’s good, it brought me here. So that’s the story it tells. It’s clips of old footage that I had laying around and I do my performance on roller skates, which I know sounds random but it actually works in this video. I thought I was going to do show everybody I can skate, but that didn’t work out, so I’m kinda strolling through my life on skates. It’s a cool video, she [Teyana] only really had eight hours because she had to catch a flight, she had a show that night. It was the quickest video I’ve ever shot in my whole life. I was outta there in eight hours.

SB: So the video was shot in a skating rink on the West Coast?

MG: No, we did it at a recording studio in LA. I was skating through the recording studio [laughs] you gotta see it.

SB: Do you think you’ll have Teyana direct more videos?

MG: Yeah, actually I just recorded a B-side and I was thinking about her because I want to make it a dance video. We’re gonna do a couple different videos for this, but I want it straight dance because it’s super up-tempo and clubby.

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