Macy Gray, in Her Own Voice

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The Trouble with Being Myself, Macy Gray's latest CD.
The Trouble with Being Myself, Macy Gray's latest CD.

Before she made it big, Macy Gray was told she couldn't sing. And when she did sing, people would laugh at her distinctive voice, she says. Gray talks with NPR's Steve Inskeep about her inspirations, relationships and music.

Gray remembers going through different phases in trying to find her voice. She was into the screech of Axel Rose, lead singer of Guns N' Roses. Then, she went through a "Nirvana phase, a New Edition phase. There's a way to steal from people but not make it obvious, and I figured that out," she says.

Gray says she tends to gravitate toward relationships with some tension in them. "I don't even really think anybody wants a completely happy relationship because they tend to get boring," she says. "You kind of go for people who kind of enhance the drama in your life..." And besides, it gives her plenty of interesting songwriting material.

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