LAST week Amy Shark was on the streets of Manhattan when she snapped a selfie with husband Shane Billings. The picture depicted the couple celebrating the three-year anniversary of her single Adore with a slice of pizza.
It was a brief moment to reflect on the incredible journey the Gold Coast pop artist has undertaken since Triple J first placed the ambient pop track into high rotation.
Adore eventually attracted mainstream interest, reaching No.2 on the ARIA charts and finishing second on the Triple J Hottest 100 of 2016.
The momentum for Shark hasn't stopped. Her follow-up singles I Said Hi, All Loved Up and Mess Her Up and her debut album Love Monster (2018) led to bigger success, including four ARIA Awards at the music industry's night of nights last November.
More recently, Shark (real name Amy Billings) has been venturing overseas. She's appeared on USA television programs The Late Late Show with James Corden and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Adore cracked No.32 on the Billboard charts and she's earned high-profile admirers in American superstar producer Mark Ronson and Australian actress Nicole Kidman.
For a 33-year-old who spent six years in her 20s performing covers - and sporadically her own material - in Gold Coast pubs to disinterested punters, it's been a miraculous rise.
The days when she'd process video footage of the Gold Coast Titans players in her role as the NRL club's video editor are long gone. Shark is now firmly the star.
It sounds like a dream come true. And mostly it has been. But Shark admits the constant travel back and forth across the Pacific has been taxing.
"I think it's only now that I'm comfortable with not having any routine," Shark tells Weekender. "You go from working nine to five and getting home, having dinner and going to bed and doing the same thing every day.
"And I'm a routine person, so it was really hard not even knowing what you're doing the next day. [Someone will say] 'The song is doing well here, so we're going to send you to Reno to do a bunch of promo and then you're going to be doing a festival in Vegas'.
"Then you've got to try and get back for the ARIAs. It's just crazy. I really enjoyed it at the start because it was new and exciting and then the pressure comes and there's a lot of shows and you get fatigued because you're always jet-lagged.
There's a lot of epic highs, but there's also some lows that come with it that nobody sees and you have to work hard mentally and physically to get it all done.Amy Shark
"There's a lot of epic highs, but there's also some lows that come with it that nobody sees and you have to work hard mentally and physically to get it all done."
Shark says it's a "constant battle" finding a healthy balance between music and her private life, but she's improving.
And family is the key.
"The most important thing for me is my niece and nephew because the second I see them - a two-year-old and a four-year-old - they don't care about charts or care about shows," she says. "They don't want tickets to Splendour [In The Grass].
"It's so refreshing to play with the kids. I can be a big kid with them as well. It's really important to spend time with family. It keeps me really grounded, so I'm not thinking about music.
"There's only a few things that can take my mind off music because I really OD on it."
Shark's record label and management have been in her ear about slowing down. Particularly when it comes to writing another album.
But Shark is no naive fresh-faced star with stars in her eyes. She's been in the trenches for years waiting for her big break. It's time to capitalise.
"I haven't been doing this my whole life," she says. "I've been writing forever and been my own musical battler in my own life, but to the rest of the world nobody really knows anything about me and I'm just so new to it that I'm enjoying it.
"This isn't a job for me just yet. I love touring and finally playing to people who want to listen.
"I'm good to keep going, but I think the people in my team have been around a lot longer and can see what happens to artists if they over do it."
Shark is tight-lipped when asked about her second album. However, she did confirm Mark Ronson would be involved in the project.
Ronson has won seven Grammy Awards and worked with the likes of Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Adele and Queens Of The Stone Age. But he's probably best known for producing Amy Winehouse's brilliant 2006 record Back To Black.
"He really interests me and I've been a fan of his work for a very long time since he started working with Amy Winehouse," Shark says.
"When I met him he was like, 'I know your music well, come and do some stuff when you're in LA'.
"So that was weird. I didn't go in there thinking I'd hit him up to work with me. It's always nicer when they ask you, because you don't feel like a creep."
When the time comes to follow-up Love Monster, Shark knows there will be a mountain of pressure. She's not an unknown quantity any more. She's counting on her confidence to deliver the goods.
REVIEW:Amy Shark's Love Monster
"I know what I'm doing now," she says. "There's no many things I'm really bad at, but I'm just lucky I found something that I think I'm good at and I just love it so much. I'm obsessed with it.
"I'm not feeling so much pressure or stress, I'm more just anxious and I'm killing everyone because I just want to get more stuff out and everyone is telling me I need a break.
"I just want to keep going. This is me trying to have a break."
Amy Shark plays her first Newcastle headline show at Wests NEX on October 3.