Sofia Valdes Speaks on Authenticity, Mental Health, and New Music

Welcome Panamanian Sofia Valdes as she makes a place for herself in the music world. Signed by Warner Records, her approach as a singer-songwriter is refreshingly un-conforming to what’s expected. Having the gift of music passed down through generations, her great-grandfather was the legendary Miguelito Valdés, and her great-great-grandmother was Silvia De Grasse. Now it’s her time to pave her way through as she has already begun to with her debut song “Little Did I Know.”

Photography by Val Schack

At 20 years old, she is already making entirely with her voice and choice of arrangements. Recently she released, “Handful of Water,” a record showcasing just a portion of her ability and talent so far. The depth, honesty, and personality transcend past the audio leaving an impact on listeners. Authenticity is critical, and Sofia is hitting all the marks. As a true creative, she is involved in all aspects of her material, including writing, producing, directing, and of course, singing. Hands-on and resourceful even during this time with ongoing pandemic COVID-19, she, like other artists, had to make adjustments while still creating. Sofia’s work ethic remained unchanged as she made the best of it with self-taped music videos, editing, directed, and recording music. The creation has never stopped.

When you see the final results, her music inspirations of Motown, Bossa Nova, and Lana Del Rey are evident. Her records feel like she’s been doing this for decades. As an artist, she loves to find inspiration in unusual spots like bathtubs with her guitar, anything to keep the ideas going because her passion for music comes first. Wise beyond her years, she’s also vocal about mental health, even using her low points as stepladders; her perseverance in finding positivity in situations and channeling those moments through her music show her strength as a human as well as an artist.

Photography by Val Schack

Sofia exudes unshakable confidence and clarity within herself that’s not often seen in many young artists. Some are in it for the wrong reasons. Thankfully, that’s not the case for Sofia. The idea of not being anyone but herself is part of her artistry, to be seen for who and what is the best reward of all. It’s translated into everything she has delivered thus far, and I’m confident we can expect more great things with her upcoming EP, Ventura.