Mercia Manners was born on the 17th February 1984 in Adelaide, South Australia. She spent the early years of her life in the back of the car, singing along to country music every weekend, when her family would drive to Wallaroo to visit her Nana.
Nellie Manners, (her Dad's mother), used to sing country music on the local radio station, and was in fact taught to play guitar by Mick Bergen. So it seemed from an early age that Mercia was destined to share this love of country music.
Mercia loved to sing but was shy, so she joined the choir at school. It took 14 years for her to have the courage to sing solo in front of an audience. She did this due to the persuasion of her dear Grandfather, Henry Manners, at the Gawler Country Music Club. She was a nervous walk-up artist, and had never worked with a band before, she sang Tammy Wynette's "I Don't Wanna Play House", and missed the key change. Embarrassed but not discouraged, Mercia continued to sing at the club and began to enter local talent quests.
Now 20yrs old, not only has she won countless first places at the various talent quests around Australia, but she was the overall senior winner at the Port Pirie festival in 2002, was the recipient of the Frank Harding Memorial Award in Barmera 2002, and Senior Female Champion Of Champions for three consecutive years, 2001,2002 & 2003. In 2003 Mercia also became the Senior Champion of Champions.
As the Senior Champion Of Champions winner for 2003, Mercia was excited to travel to Norfolk Island in 2004 and represent South Australia in the Trans-Tasman Entertainer of the Year competition, which has seen the likes of Billy Bridge, Megan Laurie and Jake Nicholai.
Not only has this young lady made a name for herself vocally, but she has also been recognized as an up and coming songwriter. After recording a 3 track CD with sister Loni in 2003, Mercia's original 'Hey There You' won APRA Song of the Year, placing first in the modern section. Mercia has been asked to write for other artists who are keen to record original material.
"I like to sing songs that I can relate to, and feel. I think an exceptional singer is one who is able to reach an audience, one who can make them feel the emotion of a song. So it's a wonderful feeling to be singing my own words, and have the audience relate to my own feelings."
Mercia has had no vocal training, and is constantly working on her vocal style and ability, as she believes there is always room for improvement. She has come a long way since her first taste of the stage. Now comfortable in front of a crowd, she says there is no place she would rather be.
Other interests: Mercia completed a Veterinary Nursing certificate after
being offered a traineeship in 2000.
May be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated Aug 2004
Most Pictures by I Fisk