Malinda Reese, Google Translate Cover Artist, Actress and YouTube Vlogger

It all started out as a joke.

Just to see what would happen, Malinda Reese used an online translator to convert the lyrics of Disney hit song “Let It Go” into multiple languages. Then, she translated them back into English. That’s how the lyrics “let It go” became “give up” instead. Reese hoped that her parody would get some laughs, but before she knew it, the video had gone viral and has been viewed more than 10 million times. It’s also been featured  in HuffPost, The Daily Dot, Mental Floss and even shown in a segment on Last Week Tonight With John Oliver.

For Reese, her motivation lies within making each new video more creative than the last one. “My motto is if my next video isn’t better than my last — if it didn’t challenge me in a different way than the last — then I am missing the point,” she explained. Reese contracts with a team of people who help produce the music for each of her videos. She also consults with several musicians to develop a musical arrangement specifically tailored to her videos.

Currently, Reese is in talks to sign with an independent management company after recently doing freelance work. “I distribute my music, sell my merchandise and engage with my community on Patreon,” she said. Some of Reese’s most popular covers using Google Translate include Adele’s “Hello,” and Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

Reese relies heavily on fair use as the crux for her videos and refers to her parodies as a “reimagination” of an artist’s original work.

“Parody and fair use are pillars of a free internet and a free society, but so is copyright law that allows artists to reimagine an original work in something like a cover, in a way that it benefits both the composer and the new arranger,” explained Reese. “We’ve seen time and time again that the more open ideas and compositions are to re-imagination the healthier the YouTube ecosystem is.”

With more than 591,000 subscribers and over 73 million views on YouTube, Reese’s online presence has grown to include original covers and vlogs. Her translation cover songs have spun off into their own playlist called “Google Translate Sings,” and she has also experimented with Siri and auto-captions. Reese has even utilized her platform to collaborate with other creators, like Andrew Huang, Jonathan Young, Caleb Hyles and Evynne Hollens.

Currently, Reese is working on a live show to tour in the future, and is also pursuing opportunities in the acting world.

Reese views the internet as an entertainment and information platform that gives her an easy way to engage with people her age. She hopes that her positive approach will encourage other like- minded users to follow her lead. “While the internet can be a dark hole of negativity and misinformation, my mission statement is that whatever I put out onto the internet, I either have to make people laugh harder, think more deeply, or feel more deeply,” said Reese.

Learn more about Malinda Reese and her work by visiting her on on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and website.