Who Is Jennifer Smestad? The Story Behind Her Journey to Country Music

Who Is Jennifer Smestad? The talented singer-songwriter made waves with her breakout single “Half The Man” and is now gearing up for the release of her brand new song “Can’t Have Mine”, out everywhere Friday, March 26th. Check out our interview below where we learn more about the rising star and her journey to country music.

Jennifer Smestad // Photo Credit: Ryan Noble

Jennifer Smestad // Photo Credit: Ryan Noble

Jennifer Smestad is a Sony Music Nashville recording artist, who has grown by leaps and bounds this year due in part to her dedication, unmatched talent, and loyal fanbase that has supported her via social media since the very beginning. We talked to the songstress all about her journey to Nashville, her viral single “Half The Man,” and of course her soon-to-be-released song “Can’t Have Mine.”

Growing up in a suburb outside of Phoenix, Arizona, the singer knew almost immediately that she was destined to be a country music singer. “Pretty much ever since I was a kid, all I wanted to do was sing country music,” she tells us, “It’s pretty much in my blood and in my bones.”

Like many of us, her parents introduced her to country music, the genre she fell in love with upon first listen. 90’s country artists like Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Reba, and Shania Twain captured her heart at a young age, and she never looked back, even recalling her first concert, which happened to be one with country power couple Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.

I wrote my first song at 10 years old and I thought it was going to be the biggest Disney Channel hit,” she joked, reminiscing with us about her upbringing.

Despite knowing in her heart that she was going to pursue a career in music, Smestad also desired a college education. She completed that goal, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in communication, a degree that would go on to help her in the early stages of her career. Upon graduating, she finally took the leap and moved to Nashville to give her dream a real shot.

If I have a backup plan, then to me thats already setting myself up for failure,” she shared, adding that music was the only option. “I was just like ya know what, Im just going to do music and Im not going to have a backup plan and if it doesnt work out, Ill figure it out later.”

While in Nashville, the songstress was able to really discover her artistry and her knack as a songwriter. “Cowriting is where I have really grown as a songwriter, and I fell in love with the songwriting process,” she shared, admitting though that it took a while for her to get comfortable enough to bring her real-life experiences and emotions to a write.

“I’ve always been afraid to share my emotions, so the songwriting has been one of the most scariest, vulnerable things to me,” Smestad explained, “Finally, I was like this is scary, but Im just going to try. Im going to write something thats so real to me.” This act of bravery culminated in the singer writing a song about her sister miscarrying twins and a secondary song for her father, called “Half The Man.” Although both of the songs ended up jumpstarting her career, it was the latter that went viral and became her debut single.

Realizing how much fans related to her authenticity and vulnerability, Smestad felt ready to continue sharing herself through her music. I started writing these very personal songs that connected with me and those were the songs that performed the best online too, which totally makes sense because it comes from a genuine place,” she declared.

This Friday, her next single, “Can’t Have Mine” makes its debut. Although the song is about heartbreak, it has also emerged as an anthem for knowing your worth and what you deserve in a relationship. “Writing it, it just felt sad and it brought back a lot of sad, hopeless feelings, but after posting it on social media and the reaction that it got, I realized how empowering it is,” shared Smestad, “It brings out this raw, genuine emotion but that one line “you can’t have mine,” is actually really empowering.”

Check back here at NYCountry Swag on Friday, March 26th for our full review of the new song and the exclusive premiere of the lyric video!

Although the songstress is not quite sure what this year has in store for her, she promises that more music will come at some point, but for now, fans should continue to stream her current songs. Regardless it’s safe to say that Smestad is here to stay.

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Jennifer Smestad’s music is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.