Zhaklina & Meg Rilley Take Us To Far-Away "Pluto"

From New York to Nashville, alternative-pop recording artist and singer-songwriter Zhaklina teams up with Meg Rilley for their emotional and heart-wrenching new single, "Pluto."

After moving to Nashville in 2018, Zhaklina found herself exploring career options which brought her to the creative lifestyle of a full-time performer and recording artist. Her edgy vocals and powerful approach never fail to spark an authentic connection with the listener, especially when she belts her meaningful and relatable experiences.

Now pairing up with fellow singer-songwriter Meg Rilley for their cathartic new single, "Pluto," the song brings us into a dynamic listening experience that ranges from heartfelt pop to downright exhilarating rock. Both Zhaklina and Rilley offer incredibly soulful and captivating performances that take us through a relationship's turmoil where self-sacrifice is the only way to keep it afloat.

Hitting play on "Pluto," the song kicks off with a moody and bluesy electric guitar melody alongside snapping hi-hats that linger in the background. As Zhaklina makes her warm and powerful vocal appearance, she sets the scene where a lover didn't come through on Valentine's Day while making some relatable realizations that maybe they're better left apart.

Around the second verse, Meg Rilley's chilling and equally powerful vocals drift in and sing a similar cathartic message of seeming like a burden around the one she loves. All while this is happening, the instrumentals continue to expand into this exciting and energetic rock atmosphere with blistering guitars, pounding drums, and an overall relentless feel.

Both Zhaklina and Meg Rilley bring such passion and emotion into this fiery song, and we're sure anyone will appreciate the powerful, driven, and motivational experience they have to offer. Find "Pluto" on all streaming platforms.

We're very impressed with the drive and passion you've brought to "Pluto" alongside Meg Rilley. So what inspired this deeply emotional yet powerful song?

Personal experiences inspired "Pluto," which Meg and I have gone through in our lives, teaching us about self-worth and respect. It can be difficult to feel like you are enough from friendships to romantic relationships. I thought Pluto's story, going back and forth between being defined as a legitimate planet or not, was a good metaphor for how being in relationships that don't foster dignity and respect can feel. I believe our song is a good reminder to know your worth, abide in your dignity, and not base your value on what anyone thinks of you.

Was this your first time working with Meg Rilley? What was your favorite part about working with her for "Pluto"?

Yes, this is the first time Meg and I have written a song together. I met her at a local writer's round in Nashville and loved her style and voice, so I reached out to her about writing together, and she was up for it! My favorite part about working with Meg is that she is another woman! It dawned on me that all of my co-writes up until that point had been with men, and I decided to be more intentional about developing artistic relationships with women in the industry. I think it's really important that women come together more. We are undervalued in the industry and have so much to offer. Meg is a phenomenal artist and person, and I felt honored to write with someone so talented and down to earth.

Why did you want to give "Pluto" such an energetic and exhilarating rock instrumental? Do you feel this heavy-hitting sound amplified the song's meaning?

So the rock solo was total all the producers' ideas! Leighton Thomas (the producer) is another local artist and is in a band with Meg called "Meg & The Boys." They're also dating- Meg and Leighton, a very cool couple. Leighton did a great job producing the track and crushed the instrumental portion (which he tracked guitars on himself). I'm an Alternative artist and am always up for an awesome rock instrumental.

If you were to compare "Pluto" to your first few releases, would you be able to track your growth in both vocals and lyrical concepts?

Hmmm, I would say yes and no. I think that each song is different and exemplifies different sides of me as an artist. So in that sense, it's harder to track progress when I value each individual project for what it is versus comparing them to each other. I think I have been growing as a writer and leaning into deeper concepts with creative lyrical expression. I have also grown in the way I tell stories in songs, and I think Pluto does a great job of showing that. Although I think Pluto is very fun vocally, it isn't my favorite vocal I've ever done. And I'm okay with that! I am getting better at writing jams that feel different from what I like and am used to, and that's important to develop as an artist. Working with other artists on songs will always help you grow- everyone is so different- and it's a great opportunity to learn from each other.

What's next for you?

I am currently working on my third EP for my "17 Reasons Why" series! I plan on releasing it sometime this year and am working on releasing another single between now and then. I have several features that I will also be a part of this year- which is always so fun! And many live shows were coming up. I am always updating my music news on my Instagram and Facebook pages, @iamzhaklina. I have more plans for my mental health advocacy and am grateful to see my brand growing in supporting such an important cause.