She’s played shows in large arenas, made crowds sway at festivals and headlined intimate venues but at the end of the day, Macy Gray is just a girl from Ohio that’s happy to just be playing.

“Some small venues are really hard to play because of the way they are set up. Some big venues are really hard to play, I did SeaWorld and that was the worst. That was the worst nightmare that I’ve ever had in my life. I’ve done festivals, you know, very big venues and I have memories that I’ll never forget and the same with the small ones,” Gray said.

Gray played two shows Sunday night at Philadelphia’s newest concert venue, City Winery in the Fashion District. Fashion District is in the space formerly occupied by Center City’s Gallery Mall. The space is cozy and lends itself to a more intimate type of show.

“It’s actually pretty amazing. I’ve got an incredible band. People get really into it. It’s very, like heart to heart, a very personal thing. You know, connecting and stuff. It’s a good show. If you want to dance and sing out loud and cry. It’s good. It’s like a big emotional night. That’s what people tell me anyway,” shared Gray.

Just like her environment inspires her concert, Macy is also inspired by other artists.

“I was a huge Prince fan and I know every single Prince song. You can see it in my writing and I don’t know, he kind of taught you that anything was possible in music. You could do anything. Say anything. You create your own style. You don’t have to be a pop or R&B artist. You just do what you do and make it amazing. I think he’s been my biggest inspiration as far as my career,” Gray lamented.

Although music is Macy’s first love, she’s also a big movie fan and once considered a career in screenwriting.

“I used to go to the movies a lot more. Nowadays, it’s mostly, you know. There’s a lot of binge watching going on. I love movies. Right now, I’m in a hotel watching on my computer, it’s kind of a bummer,” Gray mused.

Gray uses her love for music and film together when she does soundtrack work.

“I love actually really writing for film and working with different composers and stuff like that. I love film and I get it, you know, I get songs and I get themes and what they need lyrically and stuff like that. It comes very naturally for me,” Gray said.

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