If seven-year-old Max Jackson could see herself now she would probably pass out, joked the now 27-year-old.
Having released her debut single Saturday, co-written by her country music idol Gina Jeffreys and produced by the superstar's husband Rod McCormack, in August, Jackson is now just a few months away from releasing her debut album, Life of the Party, out into the world.
But if that wasn't enough of a high in her burgeoning career, the Newcastle-based country music artist is now gaining her first touring experience with McCormack and Jeffreys who, after a 12 year hiatus release her first music last month, is embarking on a national tour.
Jackson will open for Jeffreys on the Beautiful Tangle tour, which is due to stop at Belmont 16s on Friday.
"It's just the craziest thing," Jackson said. "I honestly say all the time that if I could have told my seven-year-old self that I would be doing what I'm doing now I think she would have passed out."
Jackson, a graduate of the prestigious Talent Development Project and The Academy of Country Music, has spent the past 10 years working towards the release of her debut album.
Jackson first met Jeffreys and McCormack in 2009 when she became the inaugural winner of the Brand New Star competition by Central Coast radio station Today's Country 94 One.
The prize was one-on-one time with the pair - a full day of mentorship from Jeffreys and a day in the studio with McCormack. The relationship did not end there, with Jackson co-writing four songs that feature on Jeffreys' new album. Jackson's songwriting also features on Nashville pop singer-songwriter Svrcina's popular track Astronomical.
Talking about her own single Saturday, a happy pop-country track that debuted at number four on the iTunes country music chart, Jackson said she began writing it with Jeffreys and McCormack six years ago.
"During that time I've taken a crazy trip around the world to figure out who I am as an artist," Jackson said.
"Saturday has had a version in every one of the experiments. It has always felt right and it just had to be my first single."
Audiences will be able to hear Jackson perform Saturday, plus other songs from her album Life of the Party, due for release in early 2020, when she opens for Jeffreys during the Beautiful Tangle national tour.
"I'm really lucky to be opening the show with some of the songs from my album. It's a sneak peak," Jackson said. "I also feel really lucky to come out and play guitar in Gina's band as well.
"It's a real learning curve but I'm really loving the opportunity."