One look at Macy Gray and you'd think it was the dead of winter, not a typical sticky California day in mid-July. Sitting in an oversized chair, the funk/soul sista is all bundled up in a turtleneck sweater with multicolored stripes and flared blue jeans. Her fabulous afro has been coifed into a softer, sleeker 'do, and her eyes are shielded by big brown sunglasses.
While noticeably restless, Gray's in a chatty, engaging mood. She throws out zany occasionally X-rated answers that seem primarily intended to crack herself up.
It's been two years since the Canton, Ohio-born singer released her breakthrough, On How Life Is. The album went triple-platinum and won a Grammy for its single "I Try," ratcheting up the pressure to deliver an equally stellar follow-up.
But rather than fret, Gray simply let loose in the studio and followed her instincts. The Id a term coined by Sigmund Freud to refer to the most instinctive, impulsive and primal part of the unconscious mind is a landmine of styles and sounds, merging classic soul, funk, rock, hip-hop and disco.
Co-produced by Gray, it features guest appearances by Erykah Badu, Red Hot Chili Pepper John Frusciante, Angie Stone, Billy Preston, Sunshine Anderson, Mos Def, the Roots' ?uestlove and Slick Rick. Teri vanHorn found out what it feels like to let it all hang out psychologically, how to sustain an atmosphere of fun during recording sessions and why she's sporting diamond-encrusted fronts in her movie debut.