It’s been a whirlwind two years for local singer/songwriter Emma Dykes. A finalist in the 2016 UK Songwriting Contest and in the Top 30 of the Australian Songwriting Competition’s country category,&nbsp;the release of her optimistic album Pay It Forward earlier this year has pushed the young nurse even further into the limelight. “It’s just taken off,” she said. “The first single Man Of The House, it was played all over the world and it sat in the top 40 on one chart for four months.” Emma said it was strange but amazing that people in Florida and France were connecting to the love letter to her grandparents. The release of her second single and first music video Two Birds reveals a more vulnerable side to Emma, as she explores the journey of rebuilding after&nbsp;a relationship break down. “It’s basically just about&nbsp;that stage in a break up where you think the whole world’s gonna end, and then you find your own strength and you can move beyond that. It’s literally about flying on your own,” she said. Emma admitted it was very confronting to share her intimate thoughts and feelings with the world. “It’s like taking your clothes off and walking onto stage. It’s literally just laying it all out there and people are either going to like it or they’re not, and that’s a fairly scary thing,” she said. “At the same time, I‘ve had a really positive experience from my songwriting, and people that are really relating to it, which sort of takes the scariness away a bit.” Filmed in the misty rain among the autumn leaves of a farm, Emma was thrilled with her first film clip, which she felt gave extra weight to her storytelling. Her first foray into the acting world was a bit of a challenge. “It was quite funny actually,” she said. “There’s a scene in it where we were arguing, and trying to fake an argument is difficult at the best of times, but then we had everyone lined up sort of standing around in a circle and watching us and laughing at us. It was very hard to keep a straight face.” Emma said she was having an amazing ride with her career.&nbsp;“I was a support act for Wendy Matthews the other day, and I grew up listening to Wendy Matthews,” &nbsp;she said. “Everything from here on is a bonus, because I’m already doing things that I never thought I’d do.” Pay it Forward is available at&nbsp;emmadykes.com, ITunes, Lennon’s Butchery and the Imperial Hotel.&nbsp; Emma will perform at the RSM Club on Saturday, September 2 and at the Tatts Hotel on Friday, September 15.