Alternative Pop Artist Zhaklina Releases New Single “Pretend”
Alternative Pop singer/songwriter and recording artist Zhaklina recently released her new single, “Pretend.” You can listen to the song HERE!
With heart-wrenching lyrics like I’m in my old room, playing with mom’s shoes, wondering why dad can’t be here too, “Pretend” embodies a delicate message that many listeners will relate to.
“This song feels really vulnerable to share with the world, but it’s been a necessary creation for my personal healing process,” Zhaklina explains. “I personally believe that if our trauma and wounds are not addressed (with compassion and accountability), we are likely to repeat the patterns of pain throughout our lives. This song taps into my personal issues with identity and rejection that I have replayed in various situations, stemming from childhood wounds I have had to address as an adult. I often felt pressured to put a smile on my face growing up and that led to me pretending I was okay when I wasn’t. As I continue on this journey of healing, I realize I have always had a home within myself and it’s truly beautiful – no mask necessary. I hope this song encourages you to look at your own wounds with compassion and believe you are worthy of being true to yourself.”
Zhaklina, originally from New York and of Albanian, Irish and Greek descent, is an Independent, Alternative Pop artist. After graduating college, Zhaklina tied for first place in the 2015 singing competition “The Audition,” with Hudson Valley, NY radio station K104.7. She went on to perform at KFEST that year, meeting several record executives and gaining the confidence to pursue her dream of making music her career.
After several years of development and feeling as though her genre was difficult to put into one category, she decided to label her music as Alternative Pop. Soulful power with an edgy approach, her music insists on authentic connection and meaningful experiences. She is notorious for her captivating vocals, poetically emotive lyricism, and inspiring messages of mental well-being. Her faith is her driving force and she continues to encourage others to live from a place of knowing they are deeply loved.
In 2019, Zhaklina began releasing a series of EPs called “17 Reasons Why,” dedicated to mental health awareness. With “Gossip Queen” being her most popular song yet, and “Tattooed Roses” not too far behind, she has developed a space for her audience to feel seen. She has been published and interviewed by several media platforms, including Medium, BuzzMusic and K104.7.
Zhaklina has contributed portions of her music revenue to various mental health organizations including (but not limited to) To Write Love On Her Arms, NoStigmas and Project Semicolon. Her convictions for suicide prevention lead her to continued involvement in volunteering efforts and events that are fighting to make a difference and help those who need it. She began hosting Mental Health Songwriter Nights in 2022, raising $2,000 for mental health organizations.
Zhaklina believes in the beauty of sharing our stories and strengths to remind people that they are not alone. A rose, a symbol of classic beauty and strength, is her visual expression of her message. Music is how she shares it.