One month after Tristan Wilds, better known as Mack Wilds, starred alongside Adele in her inescapable music video for “Hello,” the actor and singer-songwriter dropped a new single of his own, “Love in the 90z.” The buttery throwback track previews a busy 2016 for the 26-year-old, who’s finishing up the follow-up to his GRAMMY-nominated album, New York: A Love Story.
“We’re pretty much done, but there’s definitely some things I want to clean up on it. I want to drop it probably first quarter,” Wilds, who’s signed to Louder Than Life/Epic Records, tells Fuse of his next album. “As many days and weeks as we spend in the studio, I think it harvests a sound, and allows me to venture out of my comfort zone. I want to figure out what I like, what I don’t like, and how I sound doing certain things. It’s definitely a growth from the last album.”
Wilds is off to a great start with “Love in the 90z,” which he worked on with an all-star production team that included Salaam Remi, James Poyser, Teddy Riley and Scott Storch. The “Own It” singer-songwriter originally conceived the single in early 2015, but returned to it after filming The Breaks, an upcoming VH1 original movie set in 1990.
“Around January, we started to carve out the beginning of the song,” Wilds recalls. “It wasn’t until after I did The Breaks and transported myself back into the 90’s did I throw myself into the time period, and see the love and feeling that came from that time period. I got back in the studio and was like, ‘Bring that song back up. I wanna revamp it!’ From there, we brought it all the way home.”
The Breaks, which chronicles a formative era of hip hop in New York City, will premiere on Jan. 4, 2016, following Wilds’ latest acting gig as Adele’s beau in the “Hello” video. The former Wire and 90210 actor says that he was excited to be attached to one of the year’s biggest music videos (714 million views to date)—and admits that he slightly underestimated the 25 singer’s broad appeal.
“Of course, doing an Adele video, your first thought is ‘This is going to be big,’ but you don’t necessarily gauge how big,” he explains. “I remember me and my best friend and my manager were on the plane [flying to the shoot] and we were like, ‘What do you think it’s going to do? Twenty million views? Maybe 100 million? It’s Adele, so you never know!’ When it started passing 300 million, I didn’t know what to do with myself.”
So does Wilds still keep in touch with Adele, who has sold over 5 million albums since the “Hello” video shoot? “We’ve talked once or twice,” he says. “She’s excited to just have the music out. When I was listening to it on set, I was excited, too!”