'Anybody Else Would've Given Up' (Exclusive): Country Duo Smithfield on the Importance of Persistence

SmithField may look sweet — but make no mistake

Published Time: 07.06.2024 - 00:31:04 Modified Time: 07.06.2024 - 00:31:04

SmithField may look sweet — but make no mistake.

The country music duo made up of Trey Smith and Jenn Fielder are the first to admit that, with the release of their debut albumCountry with Heart Part 1, comes a bit of pent-up frustration.

“Anybody else would've given up and packed up and gone home,” says Fielder, 33, during a revealing interview with PEOPLE. “A lot of people would have spent all their time asking, 'What do we need to do to get the label to say yes?' We’re not doing that. We have just continued to thrive and continued to be a story of never giving up and staying true to who we are through it all."

It's this obvious backbone that Smithfield was raised with.

“We both were raised in Texas by hardworking families that never took anything for granted,” says Smith, 35, shortly before SmithField’s album release party in Nashville back in May, with pictures premiering exclusively on PEOPLE. “They taught us that no matter what, stay true to who you are and what you're passionate about and never give up.”

Granted, SmithField has shown no signs of giving up, as they were "just kids" when they snagged their first record deal in Music City. 

“We didn't know anything about the industry,” says Fielder, who alongside Smith made their first waves in Music City with the song “Hey Whiskey” in 2018. “We were starry-eyed right from the start. We moved here and we got noticed quickly. We thought, 'We're going to be famous.' It was so easy.’”

But then the label folded and then the pandemic happened and then SmithField found themselves relying on the only people that they could truly trust – the fans.

“Because of our fans, we have been able to pick ourselves up not once, but two times,” says Fielder, who also went viral with the SmithField hit “We’ll Figure It Out” in 2020. “The fans did a Kickstarter and have picked us up off the ground to continue to build our dream and our love of music. We actually rebuilt our business in 2020 and started putting out music for the first time that we owned, through our fans -

. This is the first record that we've been able to truly self-fund because of them. This is our love letter, not only to ourselves, but to our fans.”

It's a love letter created by two people that everyone thinks are in love. And they are very much in love, but not with each other.

In fact, Smith got married in Nashville last November, and his new wife appears in the music video for the duo’s current single "What I Got". 

“She was terrified at first,” says Smith of wife Cayce. “I was like, ‘Babe, you're going to be great. You look 10 times better than I do, and I've done a million of these and I've survived.’ She was just totally nervous about it, but settled into it.”

And Fielder is scheduled to be married in November. 

“My man's also in the video for ‘What I Got’,” laughs Fielder of fiancé Cam Marburger. “Up to this point, we have not really shared with our fans much about our personal lives. We're doing that now more than ever because they are such a part of our lives and our music. At the end of the day, we are family. It's time we start showing our family and who we are together, but also who we are outside of SmithField too.”

Certainly, the future of SmithField seems quite intriguing now, as there seems to be plenty of space in the category for another country duo.

“We'll win a Grammy someday,”  says Fielder, who has performed with SmithField at the Grand Ole Opry over 40 times. “And once we have a Grammy, we will want another. You're always going to want more. And so, it's truly a reminder of just being happy with the things that you already have and investing in those things that are going to last a lifetime. Music's going to go away someday. But the love that we've built with our families, each other, our significant others, and the things that we're building outside of music — those are the things that are going to be around for years and years and years to come.”

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