We got a chance to catch up with Actor, Singer/Songwriter and Rapper, Mack Wilds to talk his new album 'New York: A Love Story' and the new deal he signed with an imprint group, Re Mi Fa/Louder Than Life (under Sony).
If the name Mack sounds unfamiliar, try Tristan. Yes, "Tristan Wilds" the actor...
This young man has earned acclaim and recognition not only on television in shows like "The Wire," or the CW's "90210," but the big screen as well ("The Secret Life of Bees" and "Red Tails").
RW: Who is "Mack Wilds"?
MW: Mack Wilds is a kid from Staten Island, NY who grew up in the projects and is about to make his name in the world...It's who I am. Mack Wilds is me. In my neighborhood people really didn't call me Tristan, they called me Mack. It's my middle name - Tristan Paul Mack Wilds so all of my friends and family call me Mack, that's what I'm use to and because this music comes from such a personal place, I feel I have to bring you guy all into my world so you might as well call me by my name.
RW: You started acting at a very young age and since revealed that you are musically inclined - When did you discover your talents?
MW: Singing was always around. I was always singing around the house, it was everywhere. From there singing turned into me learning how to write and writing poetry, writing poetry turned into writing rhymes and writing rhymes turned into writing songs and it grew and grew and grew from there.
RW: Being that you are already comfortable being in the spotlight, do you think that it made it easier for you to transition from acting to music?
MW: I think it definitely has it benefits and also it's downfalls. Honestly, I think it's a give or take think because there's a lot of people who are in the position that I was in or even in a higher position that still can't make that transition the right way.
RW: Have you ever doubted yourself or your career?
MW: Never. Everyone has things that they go through, but I always felt that this is one of the things that I'm here for. I am here to create, so why not really go for that first love that I had.
RW: Your sound. How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard your music?
MW: I tell everyone that I'm a Hip-Hop artist that sings and plays instruments (laughs).
RW: You are currently promoting your latest single, "Own It." I got a chance to catch the premiere of the video on BET 106 and Park. Dope video!
MW: Thank you, thank you!
RW: No problem. Can you tell us a little more about the track and the concept of the video?
MW: It stems from an idea originally had by Ne-Yo. Salaam and Ne-Yo got together and Ne-Yo wrote down a first verse and chorus and Salaam kind of threw it at me to see what I could do with it. So from there, I did what I do and knocked it out of the park. Ne-Yo loved it, Salaam loved it and I loved it and it grew from there. The music video - We just really wanted to invoke the feeling of New York again; you know, that old school feeling of the Hip Hop Scene with the graffiti and the neighborhood love. Just a constant feeling of camaraderie and just great music - That Boom pat summertime feeling, barbecue music...The feeling of riding down the FDR or the West side Highway with your top down or your windows open blasting your favorite song.
RW: When writing, where do you gain your inspiration?
MW: It's different things for each song. Sometimes I can be inspired by something I see on television, personal events, art... It's usually from personal experiences, events and conversations that I have. I'm one of those guys that's definitely an open sponge. As soon as something makes me feel a certain way, I'm inspired by it.
RW: You just signed a deal, right?
RW: Congrats! Can you tell us a little more about the deal and who you signed with?
MW: I signed to Re Mi Fa/Louder Than Life which is a subsidiary company of Sony and I'm his first artist. It's pretty great... It's crazy, it's crazy!
RW: (Laughs) That's what's up, congrats again! Any upcoming events or projects?
MW: We're about to start the whole flood in NYC with everything....More music, sneak appearances and I might even throw a couple of parties. If you're in New York this Summer, you're in for a treat
RW: What can fans expect from "Mack Wilds" in 2013?
MW: They can expect a great album, some great singles, visuals and hopefully some tours...A lot of greatness, a lot of greatness is on the rise.
RW: Where can your fans find and follow you?
MW: Online @MackWild and that's on Instagram and Twitter as well, so check me out!
RW: What is the best advice you've been given or would give?
MW: Persistence. I tell everybody this... Persistence brings resistance all the time. If you want it, you love it and would die for it; there's nothing that'll stop you from getting it!
Mack Wild's debut album, 'New York: A Love Story' is described as a hip-hop centered, R&B-laced tale of love and loss. Production efforts include DJ Premier, Pete Rock and Havoc, as well as SalaAM ReMi and verses from Method Man and Raekwon. 'New York: A Love Story' drops 9.17 (September 17, 2013).