Rachel Quilligan chats to Macy Gray about touring Down Under and the pressures of success

Macy Gray’s famous voice sounds just as raspy and ethereal in speech as in song. She’s coming back to Australia in March to tour her new album, The Way, and is excited to perform for Australian audiences again.

“There are some places that people go crazy, and Australia’s one of them,” she says. “They like going to concerts. They’re listening, paying attention to what you have to say—it’s pretty cool.

The Way is one of my favourite albums ever—it’s definitely the best album that I think I’ve done.”

It’s been a whirlwind journey for the singer, who achieved mainstream success with her 1999 hit I Try from her debut album On How Life Is.

“That’s a lot of success to repeat and keep going,” she says. “It’s always a hustle—that never goes away, not for the greatest artists or the ones that you never hear of.

“The whole point of making music is so that you can be heard, so it’s a big deal to get your music out and have an audience, people that actually want to pay to come out and see you—that’s huge. So there’s a lot of pressure for sure.

“I’ve been really lucky and blessed. I’ve had some really incredible things happen to me. I’ve had a lot of fun.”

Gray says that despite being teased for her distinctive voice as a child, she has overcome those insecurities and encourages others to embrace their quirks.

“Those days are over—I like my voice,” she says. “Sometimes the thing that’s weird about you can be the thing that’s going to make you a lot of money!”

See Macy Gray at the Tivoli Theatre on 14 March. For more information see the event guide.