Danica Bryant has been gigging since she was 12 and now she will perform the gig of a lifetime, twice. The 18-year old from Puketitiri has been selected to be one of the opening acts for Elton John at Mission Estate.

"I really enjoy performing in settings where the performance is the main focus of the event," she said.

"So gigs like Elton John are amazing, because I really feel it is important for people to be turning up and really supporting that actual performance."

It was a Christmas present that sparked her musical career 10 years ago.


"I asked for a guitar for Christmas and I got one that year. I started writing songs where I wasn't even playing chords. I was just singing and strumming - absolutely nothing - but ever since I got that guitar I've been practising and learning, just continuously writing since I got that Christmas gift."

She said the guitar was from Santa, not her parents.

"That part is really important."

In 2018 she was won the APRA Lyric Award by Smokefree Rockquest for her song Dizzy.

Last year she won the national Play It Strange Who Loves Who Competition, attended a songwriting workshop with Bic Runga and opened for major acts such as Jon Toogood and Jason Kerrison.

But ironically, just as Danica has found her biggest audience, she's leaving Hawke's Bay.

"I'm going to university in Wellington, at Victoria University," she said.

"I'm not actually studying music - I'm studying media studies and film - but I'm definitely going to be continuing with music in Wellington because that is the primary thing I want to do in my life."


Wherever fortune leads, Danica promises to return to Hawke's Bay to perform and who knows, one day it might be Danica Bryant headlining the Mission Estate.

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