Faith and Majesty Smith know the power of music bringing people together.
Both sisters were interested in music growing up, Majesty said, as she would write “cheesy” songs to perform for her family, and Faith would appreciate the art. Despite this shared interest, it wasn’t until 2016, when they started songwriting together, that Majesty said the two truly “became friends.”
After discovering their shared music taste, Faith and Majesty began performing covers and original songs at open mics in South Florida. In January 2019, they performed at a Sofar Sounds event in Gainesville. Majesty said they were encouraged by the friendly, warm energy radiated by the audience and the support of musicians they met on the trip to permanently move to Gainesville that summer.
The duo announced Tuesday they signed to student-run record label Swamp Records. Faith & Majesty’s first single of the year, “Premise,” will drop Friday, their first release since joining the label.
“Premise” was written over the course of the past year, Majesty said, so the sister duo has come to refer to it as their “quarantine song” — a compilation of the doubts, fears and nostalgia experienced throughout 2020.
These pandemic-era thoughts and realizations are expressed in the song through symbolism and heavier lyrics that came surprisingly naturally to the sisters, Majesty said.
“Last year was full of so much introspection, self-reflection — having to look yourself in the mirror,” she said. “Being socially distanced and having a lot of alone time led to getting to know ourselves better.”
Themes of past, present and future are also central to the song’s message. In 2020, Majesty said she spent a lot of time either fixating on the past or focusing on hopes and dreams for the future; in 2021, she said her goal is to stay mindful of living in the present moment.
“It’s so important to be able to accept where you’re at, even if it’s not the best place, even if it’s not ideal,” Majesty said, “You’re still here.”
Songwriting and performing are not full-time jobs for Faith and Majesty, who both work as nurses — Faith as a hospice nurse at Haven Hospice and Majesty in the cardiology office at UF Health. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, Majesty said, working full time in a multifaceted career influences their art.
Majesty also said she and Faith use songwriting as a way to recuperate at the end of the day, releasing all the ideas and lyrics that build up while on the clock.
“Ideally, I’d love to be a full-time artist, but in the meantime, I appreciate having a job where I get to help other people,” she said. “It makes those moments where I do get to write and sing a lot sweeter.”
Majesty said the sister duo is excited to finally gain a team of peers and supporters through Swamp Records.
Reagan de la Cruz, a 19-year-old event management freshman, is on Faith & Majesty's team at Swamp Records. Since joining the organization, de la Cruz has been involved in marketing campaigns for the sister duo.
“They have a very unique sound, and their lyrics really help tell their story,” de la Cruz said.
De la Cruz also said she wants to see Faith & Majesty’s social media presence grow following their signing with Swamp Records. She said the sisters gained over 60,000 views on a video they posted to social video app TikTok — a trend de la Cruz hopes will continue.
At one point last year, Majesty said, music began to feel daunting in the face of COVID and work responsibilities. However, she said she used this writer’s block as a well-needed break and is grateful to be releasing more music and doing more shows this year, including a Saturday performance at the second installment of Indie Live.
“I guess that’s what we’d want to say,” Majesty said. “Thank you, Gainesville. Thank you, friends. Thank you, Swamp.”
“Premise” will be available to stream on all platforms Friday.
Contact Veronica Nocera at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @vernocera.
Veronica Nocera is a first-year Journalism major with a History minor. This is her first semester on staff for The Alligator, where she works as Avenue News Assistant. She also writes for Rowdy Magazine.