by Kiera Geraghty | July 21, 2020
Indie-Folk Duo Faith & Majesty on the Healing Power of Music
These Gainesville sisters are nurses in the midst of a pandemic by day and emerging musicians by night
Many bands feel destined to come together, but few can say that quite as much as indie-folk duo Faith & Majesty. The Gainesville-based musicians are sisters, and their deep connection seeps through in the honest, spellbinding sound they've cultivated in such a short span of time playing together.
Majesty Smith, 22, always wanted to pursue music. As a child, she dreamed of becoming a pop star, and she let everyone know with impromptu concerts showcasing her forays into singer-songwriter territory. Faith, 27, started singing just a few years ago, despite a childhood spent playing violin and steel drums.
Although they have a five-year age difference, the sisters bonded over music, with a shared love of artists like Sufjan Stevens, Sza, Jhené Aiko and The Lumineers. Once Majesty started playing guitar and a yard sale keyboard entered the equation, a creative partnership took root where only sisterhood existed before. The pair have three other sisters, so playing together forged a newfound closeness. They've been making music together since 2016, and while the endeavor was unexpected since music was not originally a shared dream, it’s hard to imagine a time when their voices didn't weave together in perfect harmony.
The duo has released three singles on Spotify—"I Can’t Lie,” “Poison” and “Summer Fling"—with many more in the works. Originally from South Florida, the sisters have started making a name for themselves at local gigs and festivals throughout the state, and in the time of COVID-19, they've brought their music to virtual concerts. When Faith and Majesty are not piecing together their upcoming EP, they are health care workers during a global pandemic. That work has come with much exhaustion and fear, but the sisters believe that music sustains hope. With gripping, honest lyrics and a captivating sound, Faith & Majesty's music makes you feel seen in the midst of your mess.
How does being sisters affect your music and your dynamic?
Majesty: Being sisters is very helpful because I feel like no matter what, [she's] there for me, and vice versa, especially when it comes to music and songwriting.
Faith: It's a non-judgment zone, too. We were never this close. Music really did bring us together. We were not friends, we were family, but now we're both. I feel like if I bring ideas to [her], it's just a beautiful environment where we can just express ourselves.
What do you think is special about performing as a duo, and why did you choose to go into music together?
Faith: We are both really different. Even vocally, Majesty tends to be very airy and light, and I tend to be on the darker side. I just want to share both aspects of that in our music, and I feel like it just sounds really good together. There’s something special about harmony. That frequency touches you in a different way.
You work primarily as nurses, so how did you find your way into music, and what has it been like to balance those two career paths right now?
Faith: It was so random for me. I just kind of had an idea in my head, ‘I'm going to be a nurse.’ Then music started to become something fun on the side, like a way to destress after a crazy shift. It just took over in a way that I did not expect, and I feel really grateful that we're open to it. But it's so nice when you have a crazy 12-hour shift, and you go home—we’re night owls—and we'll just write into the night. I know that it’s irrational because we’ll be tired from work, but music energizes me and helps me with my nursing career. I'm a hospice nurse, and right now music helps people get through. They're both forms of caring. You serve people when you're at work; you really just pour your heart into it, and then you go home, and you pour your heart into your lyrics.
Majesty: I've always wanted to do music, but my mom is a nurse, my other sister’s a nurse, Faith’s a nurse. So, I kind of just went in that direction, but I've always loved music. I knew no matter what I do in life, music is going to happen. Juggling music and nursing, it's hard, but it makes it worth it. I feel like because it is so tough, it makes it more important.
How did you find your style as musicians?
Faith: It was trial and error. A lot of mistakes. Travel, too. We’re originally from South Florida, and we just stayed in West Palm forever. Then we started experimenting and going to Miami and Wynwood and meeting some amazing people and collaborating with different sounds. We went to Nashville a couple times. Connection is what really helps with the changes. Also, not being afraid to sound bad. That’s a big thing.
How does Florida influence your music?
Faith: Especially with some of our songs, they're very relaxed and chill. We lived really close to the water, and I feel like going to the beach and being in touch with nature really helps. But also, we have a song called "I Can't Lie," and it's a little bit more percussion heavy and a little bit more of a rhythm, and it reminds me of Miami.
How do you to feel about the intersection between art and activism especially right now?
Majesty: They should intersect because art is very powerful. If you want change, art is a way to promote that. It’s very invigorating. It’s something that motivates you, art and music. When you hear something or when you see something, it just invokes emotion, or it can invoke empathy or understanding. So, I definitely feel like as an artist, it's important for you to be able to express yourself through your art and the causes that you believe in.
Your philosophy is using music “to show the beauty of not always having it together.” Can you tell me more about that?
Faith: With a lot of our songs, we just want to let people know that we get it. You're seen. It's okay to cry about something. It's okay to miss someone that maybe you shouldn't miss. That it's just okay.
Majesty: We’re all a mess in our own way, and it is okay because we’re figuring it out, and we’re always going to be figuring it out.
What do you hope to see in the future for Faith & Majesty?
Faith: I feel content with the songs that we've released. I want to be proud of what we do, and I just hope that we're happy. That's the main thing, happiness, wanting to be happy with art.
Majesty: And time. More time to focus, zone in on it. We're staying true to ourselves, and we're putting out music that's us.