Duo Members: Trey Smith, Jennifer Fiedler
Home State: Texas
Single: “Hey Whiskey”
Influences: Trey – Goo Goo Dolls Johnny Rzeznik, Garth Brooks; Jennifer – LeAnn Rimes, Faith Hill, Patsy Cline
Born in the great state of Texas, Trey Smith and Jennifer Fiedler—a.k.a. Smithfield—have known each other since they were youngsters thanks to family friendships. But it wasn’t until college and a forced get-together that they realized their vocal style meshed well and they joined forces. The longtime friends released their self-titled EP in November 2015, which contains their first single, “Nothing But the Night” and their latest release, “Hey Whiskey.” As a “musical marriage” made in heaven—and no relation to the Smithfield bacon company—this duo sizzles with chemistry and tight vocal harmonies. And just so we are all clear, they are NOT a couple. “We’ve just known each other forever, to be honest with you, and the music just kind of brought us together ultimately,” says Jennifer.
A Little Bit Country, a Little Bit Rock-N-Roll
Jennifer: “I grew up singing a lot of traditional country music. I’m from Texas—the Dallas area. I didn’t grow up writing songs, but I grew up performing, so that was really what my strengths were. I was doing that from the age of 9.”
Trey: “I grew up on all kinds of different music, but classic rock was the first stuff that my dad had me listening to when I was a kid. Boston was the first CD I ever owned—best CD ever—the sounds on that were just so cool. I loved Garth Brooks growing up, the Goo Goo Dolls were one of my favorite bands of all time. Johnny Rzeznik’s the guy that got me into songwriting in the first place. I just kind of built on that and started playing in rock bands in college—did that for a few years—and eventually ended up connecting with [Jennifer].”
Jennifer: “That really is who we are at our core. Trey and I have actually known each other since we were little kids, so we go way back. It’s crazy that our whole lives, we grew up singing—but never together. Doors always shut for us separately. They didn’t open until we were together. So it’s kind of like it was a meant-to-be thing, for sure.”
Jennifer: “We were at the Thanksgiving table, and [Trey’s cousin] was like, ‘Jen, Trey and his rock band just broke up. I think you guys would sound great together.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, sure, OK, tell him to reach out to me.’ He reached out to me on Facebook and asked if he could come over and sing. This sounds so mean, so please don’t take this the wrong way, but I was like, ‘Aw, dang, I didn’t think this would really happen. I can’t say no, because I know somewhere down the line I’m going to hear about it and people are going to get mad at me and my family, so I was like, ‘I’ll do it once, we’ll have a great time, and then we’ll go on with our lives.’ He came over to my townhouse, and we played a Keith Urban song. This sounds cheesy, but I had chills up my arms, because we’re great singers separately, but what makes us special is our unique harmonies and blend together. I heard that the first day, and he did too. We knew from that point on, we needed to start writing our own songs and start developing this sound that we had found.”
Smithfield Fun Facts
Last movie you saw?
Jen: Star Wars
Trey: Secret Life of Pets
What are you currently binge watching?
Trey: Don’t judge us, because we’re kind of late to the party on this, but we are binge-watching The Office right now.
Who are you listening to right now?
Jennifer: Kelsea Ballerini, Chris Lane
Trey: Shawn Mendes, Keith Urban
Favorite song on your EP?
Jennifer: “Hey Whiskey” and “If I Were You”
Trey: “Hey Whiskey”
Trey: We definitely try to focus a lot on our harmonies, being a duo obviously, but it’s a good mix. We always talk about it being snapshots of our life—where we are right now. We’re both in our twenties and we’d like every song to be kind of a snapshot from something you probably go through in your twenties. There’s some songs that she’ll sing by herself or I’ll sing by myself—a lot of them we blend together. I think it’s just a lot of the heartache, it’s a lot of the fun, it’s a lot of these different pictures you take when you’re in your twenties.
Jennifer: I was on the treadmill at the gym. There was a title that kept going in my head, ‘You only miss me after whiskey.’ We had a write that day, so I went back, and I didn’t have the concept or the story, I just loved the line, ‘You only miss me after whiskey.’ Talking with [co-writers] Trey and Casey and Adam, we developed this story. There’s been a million songs written about whiskey, how can we make this different? Adam was the one who said, ‘Let’s start the story with yo think the girl’s talking about him cheating on her.’ If you didn’t know the title and you hear the line, ‘I can tell he’s been with you on nights like this,’ immediately you go, ‘This guy’s with another girl.’ We wrote it differently, from a different perspective. We’re actually not as mad at the guy. We’re pissed at whiskey. It’s whiskey’s fault that we can’t get over this person and they can’t get over us.”
Jennifer: Growing up on country music, obviously that to me was the most amazing thing in the whole world. I grew up singing on Opry’s. These Texas Opry’s are basically modeled after what the Grand Ole Opry does. They have 10 artists and they sing two or three songs—so that’s what I did. Getting to do the actual Opry—and I say this every time—was like the Super Bowl for me. It’s just the most amazing experience ever.
Trey: “Although I didn’t grow up singing at Opry’s, it’s always been something I’ve known about. My grandpa would tell me stories about sitting around their radio, in their living room, when he was a little kid on Saturday nights, listening to the Opry. So I obviously know how special it is. I didn’t think I knew how special it would be until I actually got there and we were about to go on. Up until that point, I was like, ‘This is really cool, but I mean, I’m good, I’m good,’ and then they’re like, ‘And now, presenting,’ and I was like, ‘Oh my God.'”
Jennifer: “We love to go hiking, and we’re very big into fitness, so we like to keep in shape. We are also passionate about rescue dogs. We do a charity songwriter night once a month at The Country and try to give back to an animal rescue called Proverbs 12:10. We love food, we’re huge foodies. I love coffee. One of my favorite things to do—anytime we go see a new city or town—is find the local coffee shop.