Ever since he captivated audiences as Michael Lee on HBO's The Wire, it seemed inevitable that Tristan Wilds would have a formidable acting career. But as he tells the Daily News, acting was never the plan; singing was his focus.
Under the name "Mack Wilds," a new persona he's tailored specifically for the microphone, the Staten Island, N.Y., native says his fans will have to get used to his more musical side.
"For now, yeah, Tristan's gone," says Wilds, standing in the courtyard of Staten Island's Stapleton Houses, where he was raised. "Mack has a whole stronger meaning. It's a name that my grandmother gave me."
Wilds, 24, says he's ready to show the world he's not just the guy who played Dixon Wilson on 90210 or Michael Lee on The Wire.
"This is who I am," says Wilds, who grew up in the rough-and-tumble neighborhood of Park Hill as well as the Stapleton Houses, where some of his friends were killed and gunshots often rang out. "I'm just a young kid from the Stapleton projects that's trying to change the world."
The rebranded Wilds drops his debut album, "New York: A Love Story," on Sept. 30. And his family members say he was singing long before he ever caught the acting bug.
"He sang before. This isn't the first time," says Wilds' grandmother, Janet G. Robinson, who still lives in the Stapleton Houses. "He was raised to do what he's doing. He was groomed for this."
Read more at the Daily News.
Jozen Cummings is the author and creator of the popular relationship blog Until I Get Married, which is currently in development for a television series with Warner Bros. He also hosts a weekly podcast with WNYC about Empire called Empire Afterparty, is a contributor at VerySmartBrothas.com and works at Twitter as an editorial curator. Follow him on Twitter.