1. Starting my YouTube channel

I STARTED it when I was 15 and still at school. I loved singing and writing songs but I had no idea if they were any good. I was very shy and suffered from bad stage fright so I did not want to play any gigs publicly because I was too scared.

I come from a Scottish village, Balerno, where there were no music industry contacts and I thought YouTube was a good way to get myself out there to see where it would go.

It was the start of my career without me knowing it. I did a cover of an Example song, Stay Awake, and after seeing it he asked me to support him on his arena tour around the UK.

I was 17 and that was really important for me as I had only done about 10 gigs in little pubs in Edinburgh by then, so to go on an arena tour was amazing and I managed to get over my stage fright.

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I just had to deal with it and after that tour, I felt like I could do any gig. It was good for getting me out of my comfort zone and it went really well. My music was so different to Example’s that people really listened and seemed to like it.

2. Getting my first guitar

I TOOK music at school and learned the flute for three years. That helped me to read music but I didn’t enjoy it because I was more into modern pop music.

One day I was sitting at the back of my music class and I heard Taylor Swift’s Fearless album and I loved it. It was just her and her guitar for a lot of it and it made me realise I didn’t need a fancy studio or lots of money – I just needed to learn how to play a guitar. I had £20 and went down to Argos and bought a pink guitar but the school didn’t didn’t have a guitar teacher and said if I wanted to play it I would have to teach myself.

I went on to a website called Ultimate Guitar and taught myself the whole Taylor Swift album.

I then started to write my own songs and brought out a couple of EPs. My second one, called Apple Tree, was picked up completely unexpectedly by Radio 1 for their playlist, which was brilliant. I’ve still got the guitar today.

3. My first record deal

I SIGNED a record deal when I was 17 to Island Records, which is under Universal. It was a dream of mine to sign a record deal and get into a London studio so that was really exciting and it all came from releasing that EP, touring getting on Radio 1.

The record deal gave me a lot of opportunities. It meant I could financially support myself which I was struggling to do because I was still a teenager and it gave me the chance to travel, make videos and collaborate with some well-known writers down in London.

It made the industry take me more seriously and I got to release my first album, Peroxide.

4. Playing the King Tuts stage at T in the Park

THAT was another childhood dream come true for me. It was my local festival and when I was 17 I was lucky enough to be asked to play the BBC introducing stage after I had put out my first EP. Three hundred people came to that, then I was asked to play the King Tuts stage the year after I had my first top 40 single. That was in front of 10,000 people!

I was nervous but it was completely surreal and mind-blowing. I could hardly take it in. To go from 300 people in my first year to 10,000 is something I am never going to forget. That was when I realised that music was actually my career so it was a very special moment. All my mates were there camping and it was really cool.

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Even though I was nervous I eased into it and did 500 Miles by the Proclaimers at the end which went down really well. Someone set a flare off in the tent and I remember thinking it was probably the only Nina Nesbitt gig where that would ever happen. Security weren’t too pleased.

5. The Harry Potter books

THEY really did change my life. I read them when I was a child and became obsessed with JK Rowling.

I would go into a completely different world and get lost in my imagination. I still do that on a daily basis. I went on to read all the Series of Unfortunate Events books and the Jacqueline Wilson books and I decided I wanted to be an author.

When I was about seven I started writing my own little stories which were about five pages long. They were probably horrendous but I made them into little books and covered the front page in sellotape to make it shiny like a book cover.

It was the first time I had tried to create something with words but realised I didn’t have the attention span for books so I went on to write poems, then songs.

I wrote my first song when I was 10 called Dreams Become Reality.

It was pretty bad but by the time I was 15 I was writing better songs.

6. Getting a dog

I GOT a dog two years ago. I know this is going to sound silly but I saw one on Instagram, a fluffy little thing called a Pomeranian, and I thought, “oh my god, I’ve got to have one of these things in my life!”

I was going through a low point as I had been dropped by my record label. I was just writing every day and I wanted to get a small dog I could take everywhere with me. He’s called Timmy and it has been one of the most stressful things but also one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. I had no idea how to look after a dog as I had only ever had cats before and they don’t take much looking after.

Being an only child, he has taught me a sense of responsibility and caring for someone else which is something I definitely needed to learn.

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I get unconditional love from him and when I go out I have this little furry friend to come back to. He has made me more active as I was anxious and depressed before I got him and often when you feel like that you want to stay inside. I hadn’t ever been depressed before but getting dropped for the first time was a blow and trying to get out of it was hard. Getting a dog and exercising definitely helped me.

7. Touring America

I HAVE literally been round the whole of the States. Three times. The tours started after I signed to an independent label about two years ago. I had been writing for other people then just wanted to put my own album out. It was a real passion project but it started to get lots of streams and I noticed America was the biggest market.

The label said I should go out and tour so four of us drove round in a car wedged in between boxes of clothes, slept in the worst motels I have ever seen and ate McDonalds food for every meal because there was nothing else around.

It is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done but also one of the most amazing as it opened my eyes to life outside the UK. I’d only ever really been to your average holiday destinations before so getting to see so many different parts of the States and so many different ways of life was really interesting.

We saw people living in caravans, people living in huge mansions and it was all so different that it gave me a much broader view of the world. It also really made me appreciate a good shower and bed. I have never missed home so much.

Scotland is really a close-knit community but the United States is so big! I always thought before that it was weird that so many Americans never leave America but now I understand why.

The venues were mostly small but all very different too. We played to about 500 people in New York and LA but the first time we played Milwaukee it was only to 50 people. We went back this year and there was about 120 so it’s growing!

8. Getting my teeth done

THAT sounds silly but it’s true. I’ve naturally got really bad teeth – it’s a genetic thing. Both me and my dad are a bit weird as we didn’t get some adult teeth. During the last three years at school, I had these two big gaps in my mouth because I am missing three adult teeth. People kept noticing it and I became very self-conscious about it. I remember once going on a date when I had a temporary tooth and it fell out when we were eating dinner! It was mortifying.

I found out that a lot of people my mum’s age were getting implants so I saved up so I could get some. I saved the money but I was still terrified of the procedure and I kept putting it off. However, my temporary teeth kept falling out so I finally went ahead and it has been great. It has given me so much more confidence. It was definitely worth it.

9. Wearing earplugs

THIS sounds a bit silly as well but I now wear earplugs in bed. I had never done it before but on the last tour in the States, we had a tour bus called a bandwagon which was fine for what it was but it was just a transit van with beds in it.

We lived in it for a month but it didn’t have much suspension and it was literally the noisiest thing I have ever been in. The first night I didn’t sleep a wink and I wondered how I was going to survive a month in it. Then I saw some earplugs in a venue so I decided to give them a go and it has changed my life. Since then I’ve not been able to sleep without them but when I put them in I am asleep as soon as my head touches the pillow and I sleep for nine hours. It’s great.

10. Meeting my boyfriend

I HAVE been with my boyfriend, Mike, for four years now. We went out for a few months when I was 18 then I was off on my own and we didn’t speak for a couple of years.

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We met again through a mutual friend and he took me to a Foo Fighters gig as a friend but decided to kiss me during their song Learn To Fly and we got back together. Now we have a house and a dog.

It works because he is in the music industry as well. He’s in a band called Lower Than Atlantis and we met because we were both signed to Universal.

We were both dropped by them and it’s been good to meet someone that has shared the same experiences as me and can give advice whenever I need it, but not be in competition because our music is very different. It’s nice to have someone to share successes with and to help you get over things. I feel like my career is always up and down so it’s good to have someone that is a constant and keeps me grounded if I start to get carried away.

He is someone to miss when I go away and keeps me coming back, although we are a very unlikely pair.

He is covered in tattoos, head to toe and we have nothing in common apart from both being in the music industry. He likes rock music and hip hop and I like pop music. We have a different fashion sense and like different food. It’s really cool but also really strange.