Mack Wilds On His New Album ‘AfterHours’ And Portraying A Cop On ‘Shots Fired’
Shareif Ziyadat

Mack Wilds is a busy man and between his roles on Vh1’s The Breaks and FOX’s Shots Fired, it’s surprising that he found time to record and release a new album, AfterHours.

AfterHours is Wilds’ follow-up to 2013’s New York: A Love Story and the Big Apple acts as the actor and singer’s muse once again as he explores those early morning hours after last call. 

“It’s not even just after the club, it’s just what happens during those hours. It’s during those hours that you do things and say things and feel things even more,” Wilds tells ESSENCE during a visit. 

AfterHours was recorded in New York, which Wilds reps hard, revealing, “l kind of lean on my city a lot, seeing how it moves and flows. I use New York as a muse.”

Now, Wilds is working on a visual concept to go along with the new album, a six episode miniseries that will premiere on Tidal. “I kept seeing people do these videos or kind of visuals for their album and I thought ‘I want to do something bigger.’ I picked half of the songs on the album and did an episode for each one. Each episode follows a different person or different relationship and going through the episode you see how the song correlates to each moment or person.”

Wilds plans to release videos for six songs: “Explore,” “Go Crazy,” “Obsession,” “Bonnie & Clyde,” “Stingy,” and “Choose.”

How the actor has managed to find time to shoot the upcoming visual experience and drop an album is beyond us. He’s been busy with roles in two new shows, The Breaks and Shots Fired, the latter becoming one of the most talked about shows on TV.

Wilds plays Officer Joshua Beck, a cop who’s thrust into the spotlight after a police shooting. For Shots Fired, Wilds worked with police to nail his portrayal, going through police training to create his character. It helped the actor, who was raised to believe that “police officers aren’t your friends,” understand what cops go through every day, but it hasn’t completely changed how he feels about them.

“When I was younger I used to have a big mouth or when anyone would talk to me or get on my bad side I would just act out, so I think my mom just kept drilling in my head like, “Listen, police officers aren’t your friends. You can’t do what you do with your friends to police officers.’ So, I think that and understanding the ways to speak to them and being able to get out of the situation. I think that was the main objective, making sure you could get out of the situation.”

He adds, “I think learning about them and actually having to be around police officers and the way they think and how some of them are even scared to go into a lot of these situations, I can feel for them in that sense. Personally, I don’t respect the senseless murders, but I have a newfound respect for them and understanding for what they go through.”