When Sofía Valdés sings, “Looking for somebody or something that will soothe your mind and bring you back to life,” in her latest single “Little Did I Know,” her voice, smooth like a ribbon of caramel in your favorite ice cream seems like it could very well be that panacea. It’s true, users on Instagram call her voice soothing and this song a “BOP.” This first major release makes promises of an impactful career if she so chooses – a supposition familiar to the artist.
The 20 year old Panamanian descends from music royalty. Her grandfather, Miguelito Valdes enjoyed five decades of performing and distinguishing himself as one of Latin music’s most renowned artists. In an interview, Sofía mentioned that her grandparent’s success in the music industry pressures her to rise to the level of their artistry. However, with this latest song, she is establishing herself in the next level with her own genre; a mix of folk and bossa nova.
“I wrote ‘Little Did I Know’ coming out of a really dark place. The song is about a very close person in my life that I am not close to anymore. I’m able to reflect on the past and be relieved I got out of a toxic situation with a toxic person before things got worse.”
Written by Sofía and Spilt Milk Society’s Harry Handford, with lyrics like “It’s not my place to care for you and tell you what to do,” and “Little did I know it would go down this way,” this track is both soothing and provocative. The steady strum of the guitar and the expressive, playful vocals rouses the listener into a back and forth rock with closed eyes and crossed legs. The song itself spawns from a dark place. Sofía says, “I wrote ‘Little Did I Know’ coming out of a really dark place. The song is about a very close person in my life that I am not close to anymore. I’m able to reflect on the past and be relieved I got out of a toxic situation with a toxic person before things got worse.”
Snippets from other songs and covers by Sofía can be found on her Instagram. Her highlights feature a BLM story where she shares stories that challenge anti-blackness, white privilege and other LatinX issues. Additionally, she has a highlight titled “Quaranqueen” and has also posted about how others can help Panama during the pandemic, demonstrating a connection and care for the world around her.