INTERVIEW: Panama’s Sofia Valdes

Hi Sofia, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

I’ve been really good, excited about all the releases and going to the beach.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Handful of Water”?

This is probably my favorite song I’ve written so far! I’m so excited for everyone else to listen 🙂

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

I had been seeing this guy for four months and we would see each other everyday. He knew my family, my friends. I knew everyone around him as well.  yet he didn’t want to be in a relationship. I never pushed it and never expected anything from him. I just told myself I was not going to fall in love with him. The day I was writing the song I was venting to Jonny about it and he was like “it’s too late to back out, you seem pretty in love with this guy” and the idea of a handful of water happened.

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

It was a lot of fun. It was an accident. Me and my boyfriend were at the beach and filmed everything we were up to for past 2 weeks. We put the clips together and we thought it was a cute video to go with the song. I also did a video in Panama that I love. I’m home with my family during quarantine.

How was the recording and writing process?

I wrote the song with Jonny Lattimer in London. The melody was easy to write but the lyrics took longer. we had the “handful of water” metaphor down so we wrote around that. I was a bit sick the day I recorded the song, but sick in a way that made my voice sound better than what it is. It my favourite song i’ve written

What role does Panama play in your music?

More than in music it plays a role in me as a person. all my family is there, Panama is my home. The culture is what I’m used to. its my “normal”

You’ve been often compared to Lana del Rey and Fiona Apple – has they influenced your writing in any way?

Lana del rey has influenced. her album ultraviolence is one of my favorite albums sonically that album shaped me a lot. I love fiona apple as well. i think more than musically I’ve been compared to her more physically, She does play a big role in my life as a songwriter as well as Lana

How has your own upbringing and musical heritage influenced your music and yourself as an artist?

I grew up listening to  a lot of cuban music in the house. I don’t know if it has influenced me noticeably but I know I love it. my grandfather was a cuban singer and my grandmother was a panamanian singer. it influenced me more in the way that I felt like I had to keep going with the family traditions. My dad, her sister, and my dad’s mom wanted to be musicians but didn’t do it out of fear and resources. I felt like I wanted to go for it since they weren’t able to.

How do you go on balancing this with your much 60s and 70s Motown sensibilities?

to be completely honest I don’t do the “latin” sounds or 60s and 70s influence on purpose. I think because  it’s the only music i’m listening to it’s what naturally comes out.

Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?

For sure!!! there is so much more to come. my EP Ventura is done and ready to be delivered. know its just releasing it in a smart way!

What else is happening next in Sofia Valdes’ world?

I’m currently writing and eating lots and trying to feel mentally healthy in this time.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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