Ólafur Arnalds has launched a new label called OPIA with a new single from Sofi Paez, a pianist and composer born in San José, Costa Rica.

Paez experiments with piano, voice, and electronic elements in search for new ways of expression in her roots, using both the Spanish and English language. Her pieces are often inspired by daily life and the nature that surrounds her. In 2023 Paez garnered widespread interest upon releasing her debut EP, Circles.

On “Por qué,” the first taste of her new album, Silent Stories, Paez grapples with the profound loss of a loved one. The intersection of the delicate piano, dark synthesizers, and haunting vocals in her native Spanish creates a unique and emotionally charged sonic landscape.

On Silent Stories, Paez captures the simultaneous existence of happiness and sadness, love and fear, hopefulness and grief.

“Within each of us lies a unique story—a collection of inner struggles that we conceal, silent battles that can often go unnoticed,” Paez says. “These challenges subtly infiltrate our lives, yet they never deter us from pressing forward. Somehow, we discover the resilience to continue, repeatedly finding the strength to keep on going.”

“Over the past three years, I’ve dedicated myself to crafting this album,” Paez continues. “The stories within these songs unfolded slowly, witnessing the numerous changes I have faced and many different landscapes. Now, these songs are ready. These, dear listeners, are my silent stories.”

Born out of Arnalds’ desire to create an environment that encourages experiments and collaboration, OPIA was originally founded in 2019 as a one-day festival. Today it is focused on strengthening the scene where modern-classical music meets electronic.


01. Por qué

Por qué is available now.

Photo: Mariam Wo Ching