• Hawke's Bay Compilation Record Showcase - Danica Byrant

Hawke's Bay Compilation Record Showcase - Danica Byrant

Napier singer, songwriter Danica Bryant has music notes flowing through her blood as she follows her passion of songwriting and producing her own music.

The 21-year-old singer is currently based in Wellington finishing a degree through Victoria University. 

Completing a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Media Studies and minoring in gender sexuality studies and English literature, she hopes to turn her love for music into her full time career.

Bryant currently has a new EP called Ego Death, made possible with funding from NZ on Air, which takes a look at the exploration of who she is as an artist and who she is during her daily life. Distinguishing herself as a brand and everyday person without losing who she is. 

The young artist has accomplished great things in a short amount of time including her first EP released in 2020, the year after she finished highschool.  

Bryant feels honoured to have witnessed the growth of the Hawke’s Bay music scene as she explains that music has been a big part of her life growing up.

She started singing when she was 12 years old where there was only one music venue, so she feels a significant connection to Hawkes Bay. 

Hearing about it through Facebook and discussing with Kevin Murphy she jumped at the chance to be a part of Under the Sun Vol.2 again after having also featured on the first vinyl. 

“I feel like growing up through high school I just watched our community grow exponentially and so many new artists and places and like just people who support Hawke's Bay music popped up over time, so I think the biggest thing about this vinyl for me is it's a celebration of how far that community has come and how talented everyone within it is it just feels like a victory achievement for everyone involved”  

Working with her producer Johnny Avery, they submitted the very first song they worked on together.

“Johnny Avery now is like my dedicated producer and Heart Eyes, the song on the record,  is actually the first song we made together. I wrote it and then kinda took a leap of faith and went to him brand new and really scared, cause I'm not a very collaborative person to be honest”

“I was real brave about it and asked him if he would produce it and after that we just decided that, wow, we actually work really well together”

“I've put out a whole EP of songs we co-wrote together, so this song on the vinyl I wrote and he produced, and we've been writing together since”

The song Heart Eyes submitted to Under the Sun Vol. 2 is a reflection of the artist, describing her type of music as Pop Rock Folk music. She has used her childhood as an inspiration for the song.

“Heart Eyes is a song I wrote when I was thinking about how women in the media are presented as pretty much crazy when they do most things. There is always a spin on it to make them look insane and I was thinking about how when I was a kid, I was a kid during the Twilight movies craze right and so I remember it was always like pick team Edward or team Jacob, but it didn't matter who you picked because regardless you were gonna be seen as like an obsessive teenage girl”

Considering herself more of a writer than a musician, Bryant says her love for words influences her song writing process. 

“I'm very hyper focused on the lyrics and so if I'm ever just thinking about something that would be a good song I'll jot down random lines, poetic ideas”

“Often I will just sit in my bedroom pick up a guitar and figure out what I can play that relates to what I've written, and it all snowballs from there,”

The song on the vinyl is no different and follows her thought process when writing, as she likes to create fictional characters and stories. This one is based on an all too real reality for women.

“This was definitely me taking it to the extremes and being like how bizarre can I get, how far can I go and hopefully people understand that it's not really me” 

Reflecting on stereotypical views of women and women in love Bryant uses it as an inspiration for Heart Eyes. 

“Were supposed to pine after these men in the media if that makes sense, your supposed to chase after these unobtainable guys and it's supposed to be a very normal thing that you do that, but as soon as you do your insane and your weird and it's just teenage girls being stupid teenage girls and so I thought if everyone is going to perceive women as crazy pretty much no matter what they do”

 “I will write a song deliberately over the top like stalking level crazy, in character in like an insane women obsessed with believing that she can marry this celebrity guy pretty much so that's the goal of the song”

Bryant is proud of her the song, however she explains there are two particular moments within it that stand out to her.

Working collaboratively with her Producer, she was able to incorporate an instrument solo using his talents to aid her musical sound. 

“There's an electric guitar solo after the second chorus which I'm so stoked with because I cant play electric guitar”

There is a special line within "Heart Eyes" that reflects Bryant herself. 

“I'm really proud of the lyrics but one of my favourites in it at the start there a line that's ‘I'm waiting for the opportunity where I can rush across that bridge’ and literally no one has picked this up but it was an intentional Kate Bush reference like restructuring running up that hill, just because I love Kate Bush and I wanted to throw something in there to reference her”

Being on the Vinyl is a great opportunity for the young artist, as she hopes to further create ripples with her music in the industry. 

She has inspiring goals as she hopes to become involved in the festival circuit with her band as her previous chances at this were cancelled.

“I’ve always said that my goal is literally just I wanna make a career out of original music and I'm not really worried about the money, or I don't really wanna be famous,it sounds like hell, but think it's important to me to be recognised within the NZ music industry specifically”

“I wanna make music that's quality and critically recognised and build a fanbase that cares, regardless of how big that is, I just want people who get it to be there.”

The Hawke’s Bay Music Compilation Record - Under the Sun, Vol. 2 was produced by Backline Charitable Trust. 

This record would not have been produced without the help of additional funding through Lion foundation, EIT Te Pukenga (Ideaschool) and Aramex.

There is an event being held at Paisley Stage, Napier to celebrate the completion of the vinyl. It will be on 23rd March 2023. 

For more information about this event, and about our local musicians check out the Hawke’s Bay Music Hub website and Facebook page.