TIDAL Rising: Stanaj
Pop-soul singer-songwriter Stanaj is an undeniable star on the come up.
At just 22 years old, the up and coming talent garnered endorsements from Kim Kardashian and Chris Brown, performed at Coachella, played Drake’s piano at the YOLO Estate and landed a record deal – all before ever releasing a proper single.
Born to Albanian immigrants and raised in the Big Apple, the young artist got his first break when NBA star Brandon Jennings caught him performing on the street and uploaded a clip online, beginning a social media snowball of fandom.
Projecting his unique ’90s-tinged pop soul, Stanaj’s aptly named project, The Preview EP, gives a savory taste of what’s to come. Be on the lookout for Stanaj to make some serious moves in 2017.
We got to know the TIDAL Rising artist a little better.
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Who is Stanaj?
I am a 22-year-old singer-songwriter from Yonkers, NY.
When and how did you start making music?
I was just lucky enough to be born into a very musically talented family. I was surrounded by songwriting since the day I was born!
Who were your musical heroes growing up?
Prince, Donnie Hathaway, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Justin Timberlake, Mary J Blige, Phil Collins, Brian McKnight, George Michael. The list could go on forever!
Name an album, artist or experience that changed your perspective on music?
Justin Timberlake’s FutureSex/LoveSounds.
Can you talk us through how you found your own sound?
I love vocally-driven songs for obvious reasons, but the truth is I am still developing and growing as an artist every day. I am already working on a second project that feels and sounds different than The Preview EP in many ways. I just wanted to come out with something first that feels powerful, is true to who I am, and would come across well live. My favorite thing in the world is performing this EP for a live audience. I get to see firsthand how something I created can make someone feel and I can see it in their faces instantly.
You’ve been in the studio with some major producers recently. What’s coming up next for you?
I think maybe another project a few months from now. I just want to keep putting out more music. I can’t stop. I’ve gotten a taste of it and I just want to keep on going so expect more to come soon!
Recommend another rising artist you believe in.
Looking one year ahead, what was the best thing that happened to you?
Signing a record deal with a company that wholeheartedly believes in me and my art. They have given me complete control over what I do and I thank God every day for that. This isn’t an easy business to move in, but I found a sanctuary in which I can be me and they are fully supportive of it.
And finally, if your music was a physical thing what would it be?
The Ocean. Water is the most powerful thing on Earth. It’s the only thing that makes our planet different than the rest, and yet there is still so much we don’t know about what is happening under the surface.
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