Tristan Wilds first came to the world’s attention with his gripping performance on HBO’s acclaimed drama “The Wire.” As school kid-turned-drug-dealing-hitman Michael Lee, the then-teenaged actor won raves for his portrayal of the Baltimore corner boy. The praise led to Wilds appearing in films like The Secret Life of Bees and Red Tails, as well as a turn on the rebooted “90210” on FOX. But after building his name in Hollywood and becoming one of the more promising young black actors on the big and small screen, Wilds decided to pursue his first passion: music.
In 2010, he signed a recording contract with Ten2One, an indie label. He subsequently released the EP “Remember, Remember” and hot singles. He joined BMI as a songwriter. “I’ve been doing music since before acting,” Wilds explains to RO. “For a long time. I’ve been a BMI member. I think I signed up when I was about 17.”
Slowly but surely, Wilds began moving away from his acting career and making music more of a priority. He’s finally close to the release of his debut R&B album, New York: A Love Story. The ambitious project is set to be released next week, September 17th.
“I worked with a great combination of people,” he explains, before rattling off a laundry list of high-profile collaborators. “Ne-Yo, Rico Love, James Fauntleroy, Pete Rock, DJ Premier, James Poyser.”
In June of this year, superproducer Salaam Remi hosted a listening session for an unknown artist named “Mack.” That mysterious singer was revealed to be Wilds. For fans of Tristan Wilds the actor, he says that that part of his career has to take a backseat in order for him to give 100% to Mack.
“I’ve always been the kind of guy that can’t focus on too many things at once,” he explains. “I have to focus on the music because its such a brand new thing. The acting I had to put to the side for a second. They both work separately but we all come together. Everybody works in tandem.”
Right now, Mack is most proud of his musical accomplishments and pushing for recognition–not only as a singer, but as a songwriter.
“As a writer, we love to be acknowledged just like anyone else. Me being a writer I know exactly what we go through in those studios,” he says. “From one writer to the next its like ‘You did, I did, we did it!’”