Actor Tristan Wilds is going by a new alias — Mack Wilds — as he launches a music career with his debut album, New York: A Love Story, arriving next month.
Tristan, known for his roles in HBO’s The Wire, the CW’s 90210, The Secret Life of Bees and, most recently, Red Tails, tells ABC News Radio that breaking into the music industry was “somewhat challenging.” However, he says it’s something that he’s always wanted to pursue.
“From before acting, I was into music,” he says. “I kinda fell into acting, at first it was more of a summer job and then it turned into, ‘Yo I actually really love doing this,’ but music has always been there.”
In an effort to get people to take him seriously, Mack revealed a strategic move concocted by his executive producer, Salaam Remi, which allowed him to collaborate with New York City legends DJ Premier, Pete Rock and Havoc from Mobb Deep.
“We played upon the fact that no one knew who I was as ‘Mack Wilds,'” he says. “So [Salaam] would go to these people and be like ‘Yo listen I got this project, I’m really super-duper behind it and I just need you guys to help this kid named Mack…I promise you it’s not going to be wack.'”
Mack adds,”The main thing that Salaam just kept on saying was, ‘All you gotta do it deliver.’ You know I did my part, Salaam did his part, so when we sent it back to them they were like ‘This is dope.’ Then he would show them the picture of who I was, and they’d be like, ‘Oh my God! What! You’re lying!'”
Armed with the support he needed to make his NYC tribute album, Wilds then released his Ne-Yo penned single, “Own It.” The singer explained why he felt it was the perfect song to re-introduce himself to the world.
“It just resonates as right now, it feels so urgent,” he tells ABC News Radio. “It’s a summer song, it just makes you feel good and, like, it’s one of those joints that whether you’re in the club, you’re in the car, it just grooves the right way.”
Out of the 13 tracks on his upcoming effort, Mack says of the single, “It just felt like the perfect lead-off before you get into everything else that’s on the album.”
Following the release of a mini-documentary on his YouTube page, Mack has now issued the official artwork and track list for the project via a video posted on his Instagram account. Guests include Method Man, Raekwon and Doug E Fresh.
Fans can expect New York: A Love Story on September 17 via Salaam’s newly launched imprint, Re Mi Fa/Louder Than Life.
Here’s the track list for New York: A Love Story:
“Land of the Wild Things” feat. Method Man
“Keepin’ It Real”
“U Can Cry To Me” feat. Raekwon and Doug E Fresh
“NY Love Story”
“Don’t Turn Me Down”
“Remember The Time”
“The Art of Fallin’”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio