Meet Zhaklina, an independent alternative pop artist from New York with an Albanian, Irish and Greek background.
Known for her powerful voice and bold, cutting-edge expression, Zhaklina transcends genres by creating a sound that’s entirely unique to her aesthetic. Driven by her faith, she strongly advocates spreading positivity and encourages listeners to always lead with love. Having donated to multiple mental health organizations such as “To Write Love On Her Arms” and “No Stigmas,” her dedication to her values is as strong as her devotion to music.
In her latest release, “Game Over,” Zhaklina collaborates with post-hardcore band Hollow Wake and their good friend to produce a truly unforgettable track.
Her alluring vocals are the first to enter “Game Over,” effortlessly intertwining with the soothing piano melody. This peaceful introduction soon shatters when an electric pulsating bassline suddenly emerges, guiding the listener into the heart of Zhaklina’s musical identity. The song instantly becomes powerful, gritty, and raw yet remains soulful and utterly captivating. Her ability to transition from a soft tone of voice to one with a commanding presence demonstrates her dynamic range and versatility as a singer.
The sound intensifies with the addition of hypnotic guitars and energetic drums, leading to a powerful crescendo. At this moment, the listener begins to grasp the core concept of this song; the struggle against shame, whether it be emotional, spiritual, sexual or physical. Arriving at the chorus, a monumental and harmonious sound erupts as Zhaklina belts “Game Over.” These two impactful words convey hope, symbolizing that when one recognizes their god-given free will and power, their inhibitions will disappear. She shares with the audience that by refusing to give shame power, it loses its hold on you.
As the track nears its conclusion, the music circles back to emulate the same energy in the initial introduction. Zhaklina’s vocals gradually transition into a tranquil tone, leaving the echoes of her grand performance behind to resonate through the listener’s ears.
“Game Over” is available now on all platforms.
Welcome to BuzzMusic Zhaklina, and congratulations on your latest release, "Game Over." Your musical talents truly shine on “Game Over.” Was your path to pursuing music always clear? My passion for music has always been clear- I’ve singing since I was a baby! I’ve always wanted to pursue a career in music but didn’t start believing in myself until 2015 after I won a radio competition and recorded my first professional single. I think what can stop people from pursuing a career in music is believing it’s supposed to look a specific way- I know that’s what made me hesitant for a long time. But I’ve learned that you can make it a career when you step outside of the box and own your path.
Which influences would you say played a role in shaping the style of music you create?
Celine Dion, Amy Lee from Evanescence, Christina Aguilera, Avril Lavigne and Kelly Clarkson were my inspirations growing up. More recently, I’ve been inspired by PVRIS, Florence & The Machine, Bishop Briggs, Lauren Daigle, and many more. I was also heavily influenced by musical theatre, playing roles in many shows throughout the school and expanding my music experiences through cappella groups in high school and college.
As an artist-driven by their faith, it's inspiring to witness your use of “Game Over” to spread such a powerful message to your listeners. What does your faith mean to you? Thank you! It means a lot to have my messages received. I would consider myself agnostic until I was 23, believing there was some God or higher power out there but not focused on it. At 23, I began connecting many dots from all the ways God pursued me and had an “Aha” moment at church when a singer was giving the sermon. My faith has been spiritually led, and I’ve grown to dig deeper through its theological and historic aspects as I mature in my relationship with Jesus. My faith has made me grow in ways I never imagined, and I’ve been blessed to find purpose, healing, strength and joy through it. It is the root of all I do and will always be my number one influence and fuel to spread compassion in this life. The incredible outcome of your collaboration with Hollow Wake on “Game Over” speaks volumes. What other artists or groups do you aspire to work with in the future? Thank you! I am collaborating with multiple local artists in Nashville, which is a blessing. I have dreams of writing with big-name artists like Sasha Sloan, Amy Lee, 30 Seconds To Mars, NF, Daughter, and SO many more. We’ll have to see where the journey leads. What’s next for you? Do you have any new projects in the works? I am wrapping up my 17 Reasons Why series, which is wild even to say! I’m very focused on the “Game Over” project (which has more creative ventures to come (you heard it here first!)), my Mental Health Songwriter Nights and finishing up my 17 RW project.