Stanaj can pinpoint the exact moment when he became an artist.
Capping off a whirlwind 2016—which included the release of his debut single “Ain’t Love Strange” and The Preview EP—the Yonkers-born and Los Angeles-based powerhouse vocalist Stanaj found himself getting ready to make his late night television debut on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon when the evening’s guest Justin Timberlake walked into the room…
“Justin Timberlake, who has been my idol and the reason why I started music, came up to me and said, ‘I’m a huge fan of yours, and I think your voice is absolutely insane’,” he smiles.
Born to Albanian immigrants, Stanaj had been diligently preparing for that moment since his childhood. Spending his formative years penning countless songs and performing in musical theater productions at school, he and his older brother/manager Mark packed up a car with no plan or contacts and drove to Los Angeles in December 2014. Organically trending across social media, the next two years saw Kim Kardashian West, NBA star Brandon Jennings, Russell Simmons, Chris Brown, Drake, and more become believers as he inked a deal with LAVA/Republic. At the heart, Stanaj’s incomparable and immortal voice fuels this momentum. With a divine natural range, he can quiet a room with the powerful delivery of his notes, and bring an entire stadium to its feet with a hook.
However, Stanaj ups his game yet again in 2017 with the single “The Way I Love Her.” Co-written with and produced by super producer RedOne [Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga] and Simon Wilcox [Nick Jonas, Demi Lovato], the track swings from an upbeat bounce into a Middle Eastern-tinged bridge before climaxing on an instantly irresistible falsetto refrain, “This is the way I love her. Don’t wanna touch no other. This is the way I love her. Even though it’s killing me.” It also showcases his ability to deliver a heartbreaking ballad or set the dance floor ablaze similar to one of his biggest inspirations.
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