The up and coming songwriter on every A-Lister’s A-List.
You may not know who Stanaj is but, trust us, all your faves do. The New York native has been making music ever since he can remember, deciding to go full time in junior year when, in his own words, he thought: “Fuck this, I’m gonna go straight into music.” Moving to LA with his brother, Stanaj was spotted performing by NBA star Brandon Jennings who put a video of him singing on his Instagram. Shared around the globe, the video caught the attention of a certain Champagne Papi and the songwriter from Yonkers found himself playing a private performance at Drake’s house.
Now, with two incredible EP’s under his belt, Stanaj is going from strength to strength counting megastars such as Justin Timberlake and Kim Kardashian among his fans. His latest offering, “The Way I Love Her”, is the perfect example of the heights he’s destined to reach; released last month, the R&B tinged single is an instant banger, however it is undoubtedly the acoustic version – dropped earlier this week – that really shows Stanaj’s artistry. Showcasing his masterful vocal talents over a piano and guitar backing, his emotive lyrics will instantly give you all the #feels as he melodically muses on the feeling when you’re not able to live with nor without someone.
Set to take over the world, we had a chat with the songwriting heartthrob to find out all about him.
Hey Stanaj, how are you?
I’m doing good! Enjoying life in sunny California!
When did you first get into music?
I’ve been singing since I could remember anything. Growing up, music has been in my house non-stop. All my siblings sang and played an instrument so I was kind of born into it.
What’s your go-to karaoke song?
Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me” is my favourite song to sing. I’ll occasionally throw in “End Of The Road” by Boyz II Men too….
So three years ago you bumped into Jimmy Fallon on the street (so jel) and told him that you’d sing on his show one day, and now you have! That must feel crazy?
It was a pretty surreal moment. Even for him when I told him the story and showed him the video that I took that night. I’ve always been that way though. Any time I set my mind to something I put it in the universe and do whatever it takes to get it.
You found fame through social media. Do you think using social media as a platform for your career is an important thing for a young artist?
Absolutely! It’s an amazing way to showcase my talent for a craft to millions of people. It’s made it so easy for a struggling young artist to put their stuff out there.
You’ve had Kim K, Drake and Chris Brown all wanting to hear you play. What’s that like?
It’s pretty crazy. These are some of the biggest names in the world, and when they look at me as their peer it really makes me feel like all the hard work I put in over the years is starting to pay off.
You kicked off this year with your latest EP, “From A Distance”. Which song should we have on repeat?
My favourite song from that record might be “Find Me”, which is one of the first songs I’ve ever written and one of my favourite vocal performances.
And what’s your fave song to perform live?
“Sleep Alone” off of my first EP “The Preview”. That song is insanely high energy live and I go pretty hard every time I sing it.
Speaking of performing live, you’ve just finished a massive tour. Any specific highlights?
Honestly just seeing the faces of all the fans in the crowd. It’s an amazing feeling when people come into a room just to hear you sing and show your love for your art. It’s something you can’t really explain but it’s definitely my favourite part.
And finally what’s next for you?
My new single “The Way I Love Her” is out and (I’m) looking forward to more and more performances!