Speaking with the Macy Gray, even via telephone, is a pleasure all its own. The gravely velvet of her voice is unmistakably gruff and soothing all at once, instantly recognizable but forever elusive. Gray has been in the music business for over a decade and her contributions to R&B and soul music are matchless. Even her naturally unique voice once seemed like it couldn't possibly be real to a haughty record executive.

"I was playing [a demo] for, actually a label person like way back when I was out trying to get a record deal," she tells The BoomBox. "He listened to it, and he kind of turned up his nose and he goes, 'So what effects do you have on your voice?' When I told him nothing, he didn't believe me. He was kind of turned off; he thought I was lying."

At that moment, the Ohio native realized she was in a league of her own. "So that was pretty funny," Gray admits. "That's when I kind of knew. But I still didn't know that it was good, I just knew that it must've sounded really weird to everybody. Because he thought I had some kind of a thing on my voice."

From her breakout single "I Try" to her most recent full-length release of covers aptly entitled Covered, Gray has been an unshakable musical force to be reckoned with. Since Covered debuted in March, the "Do Something" singer decided to move ahead with a more extensive cover album, completely reworking her idol Stevie Wonder's 1972 LP, Talking Book. Aside from that, Macy has also been working on new songs of her own.

"We're actually almost done with the new record," the 43-year-old shares. "It's all songs that I wrote and it's already in action. The title is Boys. All the titles of the songs are boys' names, they're all dedicated to a specific boy. But it's an EP; it's not a full long record. There are five songs."

Although Gray is busy trying to get the full-length reworking of Talking Book ready in time for the 40th anniversary of the original release in October, the EP has a tentative fall or winter release date as well. "I think its coming out November or December," Gray states. "It's almost done and it sounds really, really great."

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