Andres Andrekson, who has come to be known as the Swiss rap phenomenon Stress, was born on July 25, 1977, in Estonia. His childhood followed a course unusual to the rap world. Though he and his family were abandoned by his father at a young age, Andres' mother pushed him to excel in his studies, which he did. Moving to Switzerland at the age of 12, Andres quickly reconciled his love for hip-hop and academic excellence, applying his love for words and a hard work ethic toward creating his own lyrics and personal style. Taking the MC name Stress, he made his recording debut as part of the hip-hop group Double Pact with the 1995 release Impact N°3. Alongside group mate Nega, Stress left a significant mark on the French rap world, releasing four albums between 1995 and Double Pact's breakup after 2002's Rien a Perdre. Both Nega and Stress set out to pursue solo careers in 2003. Stress' debut solo disc was done under the alter ego of Billy Bear. Similar to Eminem's Slim Shady, Stress' Billy Bear album featured healthy doses of whimsy and parody. Andrekson set music aside after the record's successful release, having recently graduated from HEC Lausanne and launched a career in business. His hiatus was short-lived, as Andrekson was inspired by his marriage and almost immediate divorce to return to music. Using lyric writing and performance as an outlet for his frustrating personal life, Stress released his sophomore project, entitled 25.07.03, on Valentine's Day of 2005. The album hit the Swiss charts hard, debuting at number three. Selling over 40,000 units, 25.07.03 earned Stress his first gold record. Countless invitations for collaborations were soon to follow, making Stress one of the most successful Swiss rappers to date. His third solo project, Renaissance, was released in February of 2007, earning platinum status in less than two months. ~ Evan C. Gutierrez

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