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Singer + Songwriter Sofía Valdés Takes the Youth Questionnaire

By Manna Zel, she/they

Born and bred in Panama, 20-year-old singer-songwriter Sofía Valdés has built a sonic vocabulary that counts British folk, bossa nova, ‘60s Motown, and ‘70s soul as influences. A guitarist and songwriter for most of her life, Valdés was born into a family legacy of music and continued to fine-tune her craft while studying fine arts in the United States and the United Kingdom. Her debut EP, Ventura, is vibrant, emotionally honest, and available below to listen now.

Question 01: How do you help others?

I just try to always listen and be kind to whoever I’m talking to.

Question 03: Where are you most free?

When I’m in the water :) I love being by the ocean. 

Question 04: When were you recently perfectly content?

When I was cuddling with my puppy. I had just eaten a big bowl of pasta.

Question 05: What do you dream of?

Being happy, having a stable home.

Question 07: Describe something that inspired change in your perspective.

When I moved to the US for high school, the culture shock that I experienced was very eye opening, as well as when I moved to England. There are so many different “normals”. 

Question 08: What is your coolest trick?

I can guess people’s cards and be correct 65% of the time. (I’ve only been able to do it twice so probably not even a trick.) 

Question 09: What is your favorite memory in nature?

Going to the beach by my house and paddle boarding far from the shore and letting the current take me around. (Not the smartest.) Eventually I would always get back to shore. 

Question 10: Describe your relationship with your ego.

I’m always learning things about myself. I try to be very open in trying to understand the negative sides of myself and try to work on them as much as possible. It's very important for me to be able to observe myself objectively in certain situations and not let my ego take over.

Question 11: What is your favorite flower or tree, and why?

Poincianas are my favorite tree! I like poinciana because they look so majestic; I like how much the branches expand.

Question 12: To you, what is the most soothing sound?

Water!

Question 13: What is your most useful affirmation?

I don’t have an affirmation but I do try to tell myself a lot that a lot of my negative thoughts are just passing thoughts and most of it comes from me overthinking. Basically tell myself that everything is moving and nothing lasts forever. (It calms me down a lot.) 

Question 15: What is your personal goal for this year, month, or day?

Write a good EP (year), stay stable (month), be comfortable with my company (day).

Question 16: What song lyric, lines of a poem, or other excerpt best describes your outlook?

This does not describe my outlook on anything. I just think it’s beautiful. It’s the second verse of “Nick of Time” by Bonnie Raitt—it always hits me when I hear it.

I see my folks are getting on
And I watch their bodies change
I know they see the same in me
And it makes us both feel strange
 
No matter how you tell yourself
It's what we all go through
Those lines are pretty hard to take
When they're staring back at you
                    
Question 18: Which is richer: your inner life or outer? Why?

As much as I would wanna say inner right now, it’s my outer. I could say I have a lot of things people would consider as success—I’m working on my inner life tho: have more connections with people, be happy with my own company, feel balanced.

Question 19: If your energy were visible to others, what would it look like?

A lot of people think of me as dark purple. I agree with that, but not in a dark person way, more as in an introspective way.

Photos courtesy of Julian Burgueño