Anna Saxton knows what she wants and she isn't afraid to chase it.
With her heart set on a career in the music business, the 19-year-old singer/songwriter from Cambridge will fly to the US later this year to pursue her dream.
Not afraid to blow her own trumpet, Anna pushed for a contract with Starlight Entertainment.
She was signed not long after she sent the company a selection of her songs.
When she decided she'd like singing lessons with her idol, American singer and vocal coach Brett Manning, she managed to track down Manning's associate's contact details and got in touch to find out if a lesson could be arranged.
She now has regular lessons via Skype with Manning, who has worked with Hayley Williams of Paramore, Taylor Swift and Keith Urban.
The first-year Wintec music student was sporty at school and rowing was her niche.
But she gradually realised the singing she used to do for her older guitar-player cousin was where her talent lay.
Anna's brother encouraged her to record her song, Voodoo Doll, which she did at Hamilton's The Porch Recording Studio.
That was in her last year at high school and was when she got "the industry bug".
Two years on, Anna has written and recorded other songs at Auckland's York Street Studio and has had airplay on national radio stations, including Auckland's BFM.
She has been travelling to Auckland every weekend for the past year for lessons with vocal coach Stuart Clarke.
Later this year Anna will fly to the US and aims to work with Manning for a week before heading to Florida where she will record her first official EP with producer Billy Chapin, who worked with and helped create acts such as Backstreet Boys and O-Town.
The song she'll record is Can you feel.
She wrote it several years ago and it was "in pieces" but she amalgamated the pieces and says they worked well together.
"I love working on songs to make sure they're perfect.
"The songs is about two people in a relationship who lose what they had and how they find that spark again."
Anna, who compares her "sound" to a combination of Pink, Paramore and Kelly Clarkson, will perform at venues throughout New Zealand to raise money for the trip.
She is also applying for a Creative NZ grant.
To listen to Anna's songs or to find out where her gigs will be, visit www.starlightrecords.co.nz/anna-saxton.html .