BIG THINGS AHEAD: After a huge 2016, Caitlyn Shadbolt is looking forward to what next year will bring.
BIG THINGS AHEAD: After a huge 2016, Caitlyn Shadbolt is looking forward to what next year will bring. Contributed

Golden Guitar nomination tops off Caitlyn's stellar year

GYMPIE'S Caitlyn Shadbolt has continued to reach new career heights, picking up a coveted Golden Guitar nomination for New Talent of the Year.

It's her second nomination for a Golden Guitar in as many years, and caps off a stellar year for the singer-songwriter.

"It feels great, it's always been really nice to be recognised by the country music industry here," she says.

"This has been a big year for me, and I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for the awards."

Often touted as one of the next big things for the Australian country music scene, Ms Shadbolt said the weight of expectation could be as daunting as it was thrilling.

"It really is a combination of excitement and nerves, but there's a lot of great up-and-coming talent in Australia," she says.

RELATED: Gympie singer-songwriter another Golden Guitar hopeful

As for the future of the industry, Ms Shadbolt predicts a turn towards pop melodies and song writing while maintaining a strong country influence.

It's a balance she'll be exploring on her debut album, which she's currently in the midst of recording.

"I'll always be a country girl at heart, but I think it's easy to limit yourself when you get labelled as one thing or another," she says.

"My music is supposed to evolve like anybody else, but I'm still going wear my heart on my sleeve like I always have."

Ms Shadbolt's rapid ascent in the industry has led to favourable comparisons to American superstar Taylor Swift.

It's something she views as a compliment, but was quick to point out she wasn't trying to emulate in her own career.

"There's a big difference there, the American scene is so different," she says.

"While Taylor was definitely an influence on me, I've always just tried to go my own way."

Golden Guitar or not, 2017 is set to be an even bigger year for the young starlet, with the release of her album and accompanying tour.

"It's going to be huge for me and I can't wait," she says.

"There'll be a massive tour with plenty of stops along the way."