R&B is looking forward to a promising future thanks to Mack Wilds. The New York native had a quick and welcoming transition from TV star to R&B singer in record time. It wasn’t long before Mack had the official cosign on his debut album from his hometown radio stations like Hot 97. New York: A Love Story alone impressed the industry with its heavy hip-hop influence that sparked several remixes with greats like Mobb Deep, Pusha T and more.
We got to chop it up with Mack about his recent cover in VIBE magazine with August Alsina and Ed Sheeran. He also spoke on his last album and what’s in store for his sophomore effort. Mack described his feelings about traveling now that he’s on the road with Wiz Khalifa for the “Under The Influence” tour and also spoke of his first time in London while he performed at the Wireless Festival awhile back. Since he wasn’t in the states for Total Slaughter, we got his opinion about the battle rap scene as well.
WL: Your remix of “My Crib” with Pusha T sampled a classic Jay Z hit. What was going through your mind when you first heard that beat?
MW: When I first did it, it was like “I gotta do this right”. You look at the original, it’s great so I went into it like “If I’m going to do this, I gotta do it right”.
WL: It ended up landing on the BET Presents Music Matters Vol. 1 that dropped last month. What was the true purpose of putting that together in your opinion?
MW: First of all, Music Matters is known for putting together amazing acts from around the world. There’s other music out there so you become exposed to the all the good music that’s coming out from artists that they personally like. I love the initiative so I think it’s the same thing with this album. It’s more than just putting their music on TV or the radio and the Internet. Now you can go buy an album with all this great music from these artists as well. I think it’s amazing.
WL: How do you feel about being featured on the first volume? That’s huge.
MW: I appreciate it, man. It’s an honor. Just to be apart of it and for them to consider me a ‘Music Matters’ artist, honestly there’s a lot that comes with it now, especially with the caliber of artists that have attached to it like J. Cole, Miguel and Kendrick Lamar. You have amazing talent that you engaging in conversation with. So for them to even consider me for that, it’s an honor.
WL: You recently hit the cover of VIBE with August Alsina and Ed Sheeran. What was it like for all three you to meet and work together for the first time?
MW: The experience was amazing. It was one of those things where you walk in not necessarily knowing someone and leave with a new friend. I’ve known August from before this. We were hitting up the same spots like I would be in Atlanta and he would be there at the same time. We knew each other from just running around and being in the same circles. But I never got a chance to meet Ed Sheeran at all. So by the end of the day, it was just great to meet with new people and hopefully some future collaboration will come from it.
WL: You went from acting on TV to becoming the future of R&B. Now that you have that advantage, how will you take it to the next level?
MW: I’m just going to consistently be good and bring some real music. I think one of the biggest things about music now-a-days that resonates the most is how much do you keep it real, whether you’re Jay Z or Chief Keef. I think the music that resonates the most with everyone and the world how real you are because real recognize real. So I think as long as you keep it real, talk about who you are and what you are and your life and bring that to the game rather than just trying to be someone, I think you’ll be in a great place. That’s my plan.
WL: You performed at the Wireless Festival in London and now you’re about to hit the road with Wiz Khalifa for the ‘Under The Influence’ tour. Will this be your time to just focus on performing?
MW: I mean, for now. It would be hard to focus on anything else while I’m on tour. This is a great time and the opportunities are immense. From being asked by Wiz to go on tour or the Wireless Fest, there are people who actually want to see me perform so I’m not going to say no. I’m going to jump out there and do what I love and that is perform.
WL: Now that your debut album is a golden notch on your belt, what direction will you be taking your next project?
MW: Direction-wise, it’s going to go a little bit deeper. I’m going to tell more of my life story and how I grew up and everything. It’s still going to be fun, still going to be very young, and still very much influenced by hip-hop. So you’ll see.
WL: While you were in London, Total Slaughter went down here in New York City. What’s your take on battle rap?
MW: I love battle rap. It’s the essence of how hip-hop started. I think it’s amazing and I’m glad that someone like Eminem has made it big-time to where, this was literally a sport that was done in the random hood spots. Now it’s become something bigger. The legends that we know like the Murda Mook’s and Loaded Lux’s or the Charlie “Grips” and all these guys now have venues to do it big.