MILCK may not be a Latina by birth, but as a Los Angeles native, she’s always been fascinated by the Latino culture that surrounded her. So it’s no surprise that the singer-songwriter, born Connie Lim, has created a Spanish version of her hit song “Quiet,” the unofficial anthem of the Women’s March on Washington in 2017.
She partnered with Marta Soto, a singer-songwriter from Spain, to get the translation of the lyrics about self-love, just right. The song is extremely important to the Chinese-American singer, as she was inspired to write the song about her personal battles with abuse, anorexia, and depression.
MILCK spoke to Latina.com about the new version of the tune, who inspired her to sing in Spanish and which Latinos she’d like to collaborate with in the future.
As a non-Latino, why was it important that you create a Spanish version of your song “Quiet?”
I am a California girl and have been lucky enough to be surrounded by Latin culture. I was also very lucky to learn Spanish in school. I absolutely love the language and think that the grammar and the style of speaking is beautiful. It's a very romantic language, and I enjoy speaking it whenever I have the chance.
When I first heard Selena, I knew that singing in Spanish would be something I'd want to try. I love how Spanish music is so emotional. Nothing is quite as cathartic as a Spanish ballad. I love singing ballads, so I think there is a natural fit.
Did you know enough Spanish to translate the song or did you have some help?
I can speak a little bit of Spanish, so I have a foundation for understanding the grammar and beginning vocabulary. I teamed up with this really talented artist from Spain, Marta Soto, who created a translation. I read through [it], and made some adjustments to further fit what I was hoping to convey.
She did an incredible job translating, which allowed for me to go in and make a few changes to a few lines, so that the songwriting could flow as honestly and emotionally as possible.
Will this Spanish song be a one-off or will you continue to be inspired by the culture when creating new music?
I would love to sing more in Spanish! The process of learning this song was so fulfilling. I enjoy learning the new words, and also adding those words into my vocabulary.
I performed in Guadalajara, Mexico last year, and I sang an English/Spanish fusion version of "Quiet" with middle school girls from Mexico. I absolutely loved speaking to them in my broken Spanish, trying to crack jokes. The Mexican culture has so much richness and beauty to it. I only scratched the surface with that one country, and would love to see more of Latin America. I would love, love, love to go back to perform.
Do you have any Latino talent you’d like to collaborate with in the future?
Julieta Venegas, Pablo Alborán, Marta Soto, and Manu Chao!
What do you hope your fans, new and old, will take away from this new version of "Quiet?"
I hope that people will be reminded that the desire to be heard knows no boundaries. Regardless of what country we are from, or what language we speak, we are all human beings, connected at a deep and spiritual level. As the world starts to close its borders, I still believe there is value in international exchange- we still have so much we can learn from each other.
I've heard people create translations of this song, from singers in Germany, Ghana, to Sweden. The more languages this song is translated into, the more proof there is that we are meaningfully interconnected. I think of the millions of women and feminist men who marched in Spain this past month, and am very inspired by the rise of these people.
The movement for love and tolerance is growing all over the world, it'd be an honor to continue being a voice of support for this global movement. Because I can speak a little Spanish and love the language, I wanted to contribute to the global bond of this movement by singing in Spanish. I hope people can feel the emotion, and be healed, or feel less alone.
This interview has been condensed and lightly edited for length and clarity