Grammy-winning singer Macy Gray, 54, known for her raspy voice and her hit song “I Try,” will soon be hitting the road. Gray’s “The Reset” tour, featuring the California Jet Club band, kicks off Sept. 29 in New York. She shares how touring is different in her 50s, what it’s like to perform for her family, and her secret to grilling the perfect steak.
Your tour includes a stop in Canton, Ohio. What’s it like playing in your hometown?
It’s pretty wild because all your relatives show up, all your family. I can’t explain it. It’s kind of awkward, a little bit, because they know you. You can get on stage with a bunch of people who don’t know you and you can just tell them anything, you can just pretend. … [With family] you don’t have to be honest, but they’ll know that you’re lying.
Will you schedule time to visit with family?
Oh, yeah. I don’t get home often, so when I do, everybody comes over to my mom’s house. A lot of my family doesn’t live [in Canton] anymore, but I see everybody that I can. My mom, my sister, my favorite aunt is still there — aunts and uncles and cousins.
You’re turning 54 soon. Are you someone who likes to celebrate your birthday?
I used to be, but now I’m getting older. … It comes so quick now. Remember when you were 10, and you used to lie and say that you were 12, and you couldn’t wait until your birthday? Now it’s like, “It’s not my birthday yet.” It just comes so fast.
Is touring different for you at age 54 compared to 24 or 34?
Hell yeah, it’s totally different. When I started out, we would go for three days, we’d do shows, get up, go to an after-party, hang out in the hotel lobby until 6 a.m., go have breakfast. And now, I get upstairs. I say bye to everybody, and I go straight to my room and go to bed. Or I stay up all night, but I still go to my room. I don’t really go out.