We’ve been with this young man’s movement from Day 1 and are proud to see him making moves in a whole new avenue. BOSSIP talked to Tristan “Mack” Wilds about his brand new r&b/hip-hop album due out this Fall and how the Staten Island kid made the move from the projects to Hollywood. Check out our exclusive interview when you continue.
BOSSIP: Happy Belated Birthday [Wilds turned 24 on July 15th]! Did you get into any trouble?
Mack Wilds: I definitely did. Nothing I’m willing to go on the record about. Let’s just say it was a good night.
That’s good. Well, congratulations on your new album. It’s called New York: A Love Story. How did you decide on that title?
We had a bunch of different titles. We had a bunch of different names, and thoughts and ideas. But it really just turned into what it sounds like. It sounded like New York and it sounded like a love story, so it really just kind of gave itself that name. We just let everybody know.
Now when you guys initially started working on the project, whose idea was it to use these classic beats? Mobb Deep fans, Wu-Tang fans and Nas fans should all be super excited about some of these beats.
Yes. It was a mix of both our ideas and thoughts. Salaam [Remi] came to the table and first it was moreso like a test, he wanted to see what I could do with certain songs. I think the first song I recorded was “Own It.” And he just wanted to see what I could do with that, and we did it. Then we just started talking about different beats we wanted to try and it was a real moment, us just trying to figure out different things we could flip around like “Yo, what if we flip this beat like this?” or “Yo, what if we just pull this from this and did that? Yo, that would be crazy.” I think one of the first beats that we flipped was “Hennesy” with the Mobb Deep sample. And it just really came together. He played it for Havoc, Havoc loved it, gave him the original beat for it. Havoc twisted it, fixed it up. It was dope. It really just came together from there.
Some of your fans were probably a little confused with the name change. So why did you decide to come out as Mack Wilds instead of Tristan?
I feel like a lot of people know me from different characters that I’ve played; The Wire or 90210, whatever. But I really wanted to bring people into my life with this music, especially because it’s going to be so personal. And my family name is Mack. So, because my family calls me Mack, and they call me Mack in my neighborhood, I might as well have everyone else call me that as well.
So you feel like, in terms of your passion, you’re more of a musician than you are an actor?
I would say that I was, music being my first love. But, after falling in love with acting as well, I would say that I’m just an overall artist. Who knows what I’m gonna touch next?
Keep reading for more on Mack’s music career and working with renowned producer Salaam Remi.