The Vixen Q&A: Show Tristan Wilds Some Respect

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You may know him as Dixon Wilson from 90210’s new generation TV series or Michael Lee from the hit HBO drama The Wire, but the man behind that adorable smile is Tristan Wilds, the singer and songwriter. Although no critically-acclaimed fame has been reached musically for this 21-year-old star, he generated a nice buzz over ‘Fall 4 Her,’ a track leaked earlier this month. Shockingly, this actor hailing from Staten Island has always had a passion for R&B vocals despite his success as an actor. He chats with VIBE about advice from Jay-Z, why he’s a self-proclaimed “old soul” and if there’s a lady that has his heart.  –Niki McGloster

VIBE: ‘Fall 4 Her’ was produced by Dre & Vidal and written by Rico. How did you link up with them for this track?
Tristan: Originally, I was just starting to work with Dre & Vidal, so I guess they wanted to put a song on me that they wanted to see if it works, to see my tone, you know, that type of thing. And they let me hear that song, and I’m like, ‘Let’s cut that one.’ That was done maybe last year.

Have you recorded in a studio before laying this track?
No, my first time in the studio was back when I was doing the wire. I decided that I wanted to try singing or whatever. Me and one of my music friends, we wrote a song together, and I remember. This guy that I knew, he sampled “Sideshow” by Blue Magic, and I did a song about it. And I remember that I let people in my old neighborhood hear it, and some girls thought it was about them, [laughs] and it was just a great feeling, so I knew this was something I wanted to do.

Now, ‘Fall 4 Her’ was written by Rico Love, but you write your own music, as well. How did you get into songwriting?
When I was younger, I always used to write poetry. It started to turn into rhymes and rhymes started turning into songwriting, and from there it just built. I just kept writing as much as I possibly could. That’s how the writing started, but music– I’ve been trying to get into music since I was a little. 

How did you break off into acting since you have such a passion for singing?
It was just something. It was just a love thing that developed. Like, my older brother was the singer, and I was the actor, but you know, after seeing him on TV, I started thinking, like ‘Wow! I think I wanna try that!’ [But] I got into drama in school, and from there, it started becoming something that I really liked. And you know, from something I really liked. And from something I really like, I started seeing my friends going on auditions for commercials, for little movie roles here and there and I told my mom, ‘Aye, Ma. I see my friends doing it. Let me try it.’

Who are you musical influences?
I take influence from everybody. I listen to so many types of music from everybody. From Billy Joel to Donny Hathaway. From Stevie Wonder to Stokley [Williams] from Mint Condition… Ah, man. the list goes on and on and on. Definitely an old soul. 

How do you find the time to juggle two budding careers?
It’s only as hard as you make it. You definitely have to carve out a lot of time, and there’s definitely a lot less hanging out and partying that you do. But you know, I’ll sleep when I die [laughs]. And once everything’s really poplin’ off, then I’ll celebrate the way I’m supposed to.

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