SINGER-songwriter Nina Baumer has revealed that it hasn't all been smooth sailing in her journey to build a career in the entertainment industry.
The 17-year-old suffered bullying as a pupil at Wollumbin High School and during her appearance on The Voice.
In years 10, 11 and 12, the Stokers Siding teen said she found it difficult to make friends after she was the subject of taunts and ostracisation by peers.
While Nina undertook classical voice training, and other professional coaching, some of her peers did not understand her serious ambitions of becoming a successful singer.
"I've definitely experienced bullying, and I'm never afraid to admit that. I was the subject of bullying for a long time," Nina said.
"A lot of people do go through that when they have big ambition because other kids find that hard to relate to.
"It's a completely different world to be sitting in the classroom to being on stage on television every week.
"But I would just advise anyone with dreams and ambitions not to take those criticisms on board.
"It's not healthy and it is very toxic and it can bring you down.
"Just best to ignore it and move on. Keep dreaming, don't believe those people."
Nina now has a tightly-knit circle of friends, family and collaborative artists.
She remains committed to the creative hubs of Tweed and studies at Wollumbin High.
"I don't' have any spite against anyone," Nina said.
"I guess its nice that I'm recognised for what I've done and not pushed down
"I'm very modest and humble about it and don't wish anything terrible on anyone."
She is studying seven HSC subjects, including German, which she is fluent in, and is still waitressing part-time at Nam Yeng Vietnamese Thai.
After The Voice, Nina performed at the Netball World Cup and Tweed Shire Beats Business Awards.
"It's definitely different coming home," Nina said.
"You go from being on the stage, signing autographs, to sitting in the classroom and walking down the main street, where everyone recognises you, which is great.
"But I think it's kept me grounded. I'm glad I could come home and feel that community support."
The Tweed Daily News can reveal Nina is planning her first solo concert.
It will be held in November 15 at Haven Bar, Murwillumbah, and will feature a mix of covers and original work, supported by Mount St Patrick's student Squeak Lemaire.
Some pieces will be an exclusive of the first album for Nina, which she hopes to release in 2016.
"I've always wanted to do my own show and I thought there's no better way than in my hometown in Murwillumbah," she said.
"If anything I would like to thank Murwillumbah for their support."
Details about tickets will be revealed soon.
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