Soulful pop singer and pianist Albert Stanaj was born in Albania and raised in New York City, a product of two cultures. As a child, he starred in Albanian music videos and performed at festivals in both the U.S. and in Europe, developing an ease in the spotlight. In high school, he decided to start singing in English, inspired by major influences like Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Maxwell, and Whitney Houston. Along with his brother/manager, he moved to California in 2014. Once there, he worked the scene and was noticed by a handful of influential celebrities, including Drake, who helped increase his social media presence. Stanaj signed with Lava Records in early 2016 and headed to England to record with Fraser T. Smith (Adele, Sam Smith) and others. The Preview EP showcased four of his songs, including "Romantic" and "Ain't Love Strange." In 2017, Stanaj further expanded his audience by landing an opening slot on a tour with JoJo. He also released another EP, From a Distance. A pair of high-profile collaborations arrived in 2018, starting with "Bed of Roses" with Afrojack and "Dirty Mind" with Ty Dolla $ign. He continued to release singles the following year, including "Sweat (When I Think About You)."