Whanganui's country music singer Sophie Toyne has won big at this year's Golden Guitar Awards.
The awards were part of Tussock Country - a nine-day New Zealand country music festival held in Gore over the weekend.
Eleven-year-old Sophie, who is a student at Huntley School, competed in six categories and was named overall winner of the junior section.
Her ticket into the final round came with her victory in the junior vocal solo category, where she performed a rendition of Miley Cyrus's The Climb.
Each finalist then performed a song, and the winner was chosen from that.
"I was really surprised to win the whole thing," Sophie said.
"It wasn't something I expected at all."
Sophie said she never got nervous before going on stage, even at a big event like the Golden Guitar Awards.
"I never feel like I'm going to spew or anything, like some people do backstage," she said.
"For me, it's not really onstage that I feel nervous, it's just those few seconds before I walk out. There are butterflies, but I just take deep breaths and it helps them go away."
Sophie said she hadn't been able to practise guitar very much leading up to the big weekend because her hand had been in a cast.
"I was playing netball at school and broke my finger and damaged some bone in my hand.
"The cast only came off four days before the awards, but at least I got to play it."
Last weekend's victory follows on from Sophie winning Junior Entertainer of the Year at the New Zealand Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year Awards last October, a title she also took out in 2019.
Sophie's father, Ben Toyne, said she had been encouraged to enter the Gold Guitar Awards by a family friend who had experience in judging country music competitions.
"She's still a couple of years under the age group limit, and apparently people don't often do all that well on their first time, " Ben said.
"This year was a chance for her to give it a go, and then we could take her back either next year or the year after and she would have a really good shot at the title.
"We made a big family trip out of it and she ended up taking it out."
Ben said while he had always listened to a wide range of music growing up, country music hadn't been one of them until Sophie came along.
"Now it's pretty much all country music.
"Sophie really puts some time into it. She gets home, does her schoolwork, then she grabs her guitar and she's off to her music room.
"To see the hours and hours she puts into it come through with awards and things, that's pretty cool."
Sophie said she had started to write songs of her own, and she was part of a rock band at Huntley School.
As well as singing and playing guitar, she can also bash out a few beats on the drum kit.
"There's a girl called Charlie Waugh in the band who's an amazing drummer, guitarist and singer. We can do the same things, so in the band we swap instruments over for a few songs.
"I would really like to get into more writing and recording, and hopefully I can raise enough money to make a CD."