Soleil River Nation is ten-year old artist from Manila, Philippines who has been performing in Miami, Florida in collaboration with Young Musicians Unite (YMU) and Playing for Change Foundations (PFCF) which are both organizations that believe in and work towards providing access to music education for young people. Soleil Nation’s training in piano, trumpet and athletics is proof that she is multifaceted and “Small Girl in Big World” is her promising debut single.

The production on “Small Girl in a Big World” in true singer-songwriter fashion is kept light and simple allowing lead vocals by Soleil River Nation to shine. The picky rhythmic guitar, simple percussion and keys with electric guitar peeking through at times are the main elements on the track which complement the melody aptly.

We as the listener are made familiar with the voice of Soleil River Nation from the word go. Her voice feels like that of a ten-year-old; occasionally out of pitch, at times monotonous yet capable of retaining its innocence. The lyrics are endearing and feel as though they were written by her. Thematically it explores feelings of not wanting to grow up to face a cold hard world and feeling like one has to literally make a sound to feel heard. Given her personal journey from the Philippines to Miami the motif of a small girl in a big town comes off as charmingly personal.

To feel conflicted about artists who are children in the public eye, being managed and represented by their parents is a natural response as questions about agency and consent become important points of contention. I personally enjoyed the fact that Soleil River Nation’s voice and artistry doesn’t feel too curated or manicured. Her experience is allowed to be that of a ten-year-old and her rough edges and childhood are preserved rather than erased, which is unusual for many child artists of the current generation.