New Zealand has a new star on its horizon in the form of a young singer/songwriter making her debut in the music world this week.

At just 17 years old, Camila Roa Nunez is finishing high school in Hobsonville Point, but rather than heading off to uni or taking a gap year, she's got stardom in her sights.

The singer, who goes by the stage name Amila, debuts her first single Owe It All To You this week. It's a song she wrote partly in English, partly in her native Spanish, to honour her family and their journey to New Zealand from Chile.

Check out Amila's debut single Owe It All To You here:

The family emigrated when Amila was only 7, in search of a better life - particularly for her 14-year-old sister, who has nemaline myopathy, a degenerative muscle disorder.

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The move wasn't easy though; she had to leave behind her life, adjust to a new culture and even had to teach herself English.

"In schools, we really only get taught basic words like, 'this is the door, this is the window'," laughs Amila.

"So when I came here I got put into school and...had to just find my way through it by playing with other kids and talking to them. You just repeat what they say without knowing what it means and eventually, you just figure it out."

As a result, her music is written largely in English but she pays homage to her heritage by adding Spanish lyrics, like interchanging "I owe it all to you" with "gracias a ti".

A fitting tribute, considering music has always been there for the young artist, who used the outlet as a way to battle her shyness and to stand out.

"Coming from another country and everything, it was my way of representing myself and to fit in I guess."

It all started when she was set an assignment in her high school music class to write a song.

"I didn't know what I was doing but I guess I just went home, grabbed my guitar and started jamming out. I took what was happening in my life, my experiences and just put it into song. That's how it all started; it just came together naturally," she says.

"It means a lot to me because I'm able to share my experiences and have people relate to it as well. So I'm just really looking forward to seeing what people like about my music and hopefully, they enjoy it so I can keep creating."