Unknown Artist Spotlight: Malinda Kathleen Reese

Image Source: @missmalindakat on Instagram

In the 2010s and early 2020s, you may have come across videos by a channel called Google Translate Sings (or Twisted Translations) on the homepage or the trending section. For these videos, singer-songwriter Malinda Kathleen Reese translated a song’s lyrics through numerous languages in Google Translate before translating them back to English. The result was a jumbled but hilarious mess of words and phrases strung together, which Reese would sing and create a music video for depicting the new lyrics. She has since moved on to the next chapter of her life, releasing It’s All True, her debut album, in April 2023.

During Reese’s time with the Twisted Translations YouTube channel, she often dressed up as the characters who sang the original versions. Among the parodies she did include Hamilton’s “You’ll Be Back” and Billie Eilish’s “bad guy.” While running this channel, she also covered many popular songs, including “Never Enough” from The Greatest Showman. She also completed her debut EP Love Letter in 2018. Her next EP, Running Redux, was also released in 2018 and was a collaboration with Toronto-based musician/YouTuber Andrew Huang, who previously appeared in “AUTOCAPTION Sings??,” a Twisted Translations video.

Starting in 2020, Twisted Translations partnered with fellow YouTuber/musician Tom McGovern, where the duo would use the same translation process to translate information on current events and then sing and act out the results. The duo planned to include more creators as part of a comedy troupe, creating an ensemble cast for the channel.

In 2022, Reese abruptly stopped uploading to the channel, much to fans’ dismay. As she would reveal on her Instagram account at a later time, she began pursuing her interest in creating original music, and she would not continue doing Twisted Translations. Although the Twisted Translations era has ended, Reese showed audiences throughout the country that she has a bright future ahead of her, and that future has begun with It’s All True.

Reese, who now goes by her stage name MALINDA, will be going on tour for the album starting September 6. Not only did she co-write the songs in the 10-track album, but she also co-produced them and even played the flute in some of the tracks. The third track, “I miss her and I blame you,” features electric violinist Mia Asano, who went viral on TikTok and Instagram in December 2020 for her violin skills. MALINDA came out as bisexual in October 2022 in a video on her personal channel; sexuality is just one of the themes she explores in the album and its corresponding 53-minute film, which was shown in select theaters around the time of the album’s release.

If you’re looking for a new artist to fall in love with, try listening to MALINDA’s songs. Her creativity and passion for music is one to pay attention to. Follow her on Instagram at @missmalindakat, and check out her music on Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube Music.