Mack Wilds spent Friday night in his Richmond, Virginia, hotel room watching "The Grammy Nominations Concert Live!!" hoping to hear his name called, but not expecting it. When the hourlong special wrapped, the actor-turned R&B singer was ready to continue the rest of his night without much disappointment — just being able to release his debut album was enough. But then things changed.
"I get a text message from the label rep, she's like, 'You did it,'" Wilds recalled to MTV News of the moments he began to realize he was nominated for a 2014 Grammy Award. "I said, 'I did what?' She's like, 'You were nominated.'"
Even with confirmation from his label, Mack couldn't fully fathom that his rookie LP New York: A Love Story is up for one of the highest musical honors an artist can ask for, so he asked for proof.
"Then she sent me the picture of the nominees for Best Urban Contemporary and I was in shock," he told us. "As soon as she sent me that picture I didn't even get a chance to [think things] out, and text messages started coming in, people started calling my phone. I looked on Twitter real fast and started seeing my timeline flooded. It was just a crazy, crazy moment in my hotel room in Richmond, Virginia."
New York: A Love Story is a niche album in that it blends pleasing R&B melodies over hard hip-hop beats that harken back to a 1990s era when the Big Apple ruled rap. It was a daring release in the face of hip-hop's current love affair with all things southern (and western), but the LP was executed well enough to earn Mack a Grammy nom in a category which includes Rihanna (Unapologetic), Tamar Braxton (Love and War), Fantasia (Side Effects of You) and his NY:ALS executive producer Salaam Remi (One: In the Chamber).
"Honestly, with the competition that's in it, it's stiff. I'm not even going to lie. I felt getting in was a long shot; this is the epitome of a long shot," he said. "I'm the new kid on the block. Just the fact that the association knows my name, that they know who I am to even put me in the same category with the likes of these people. I feel blessed."