Artist Of The Week: Stanaj

(Photo courtesy of Stanaj)

One artist that has been making lots of headway in the music industry is Stanaj. Albert Stanaj, the Albanian-born 22-year-old has jumped into stardom very recently with his releases of “The Preview EP” in August 2016 and “From A Distance” last week. With almost five million monthly listeners on Spotify, Stanaj’s numbers keep climbing—and for good reason.

Stanaj started gaining considerable attention with “The Preview EP;” “Ain’t Love Strange,” one of the songs from the EP, started trending all over music apps. The track ended up being included in “Now That’s What I Call Music! 60,” which was released on Nov. 4, 2016. Shortly afterwards, the second song from the EP, “Romantic,” began trending and became just as popular as “Ain’t Love Strange.” As of now, both songs have 2.4 million streams on Spotify.

Just recently, as of Dec. 30, a remix of “Romantic” by NOTD was released, and this version began trending much more than the original version. The remix flew to the top of the Spotify charts and currently has 12 million streams on the platform and is, as of this date, Stanaj’s highest streamed song.

Then on Jan. 27, Stanaj came hurtling back into the scene with his second EP titled “From A Distance.” Just a week from the release, one of the songs—“Changed”—has already gained 400 thousand streams, leaving the rest of the songs—excluding the NOTD remix of “Romantic,” which was also included in the EP—with 80 thousand streams or less. Do we sense another hit coming, this time fresh and new from Stanaj’s new EP? I sure hope so.

I found Stanaj while browsing Spotify one day. “Romantic” was trending in the United States Viral 50 playlist, so I gave it a listen and was so glad that I did. There’s something about his voice that’s unique and captivating, not to mention that “Romantic” is just a great song in general. I recommend the original, but if you’d rather have a more upbeat version, then definitely check out the NOTD remix—millions of people would agree. And all of the other songs on “The Preview EP” fit so well with each other.

The new EP shows a lot of promise as well. “From A Distance” has a different sound than “The Preview EP,” but it works. I am part of the bandwagon for “Changed”—it’s a great song and arguably the best song on the EP, though everything else Stanaj puts out is so solid.

For some of you, you might have seen Stanaj already if you are an avid fan of the rapper Drake; the two have appeared hanging out on Stanaj’s Instagram page back in January 2016. Back then, Stanaj was EP-less, and if you took one look you must have brushed him off, but here he is now, paving a way for himself in the music industry. Watch out for Stanaj, because he’s here to stay.


Spotlight Song: “Romantic”


Ryan Amato is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at ryan.amato@uconn.edu.