Whatever you do darling, don’t do art or music!” That was my mother’s advice when it came to choosing a career path. She was trying to stave off the inevitable, trying to save me from a difficult life but someone should have told her about reverse psychology.

I’m not the kind of girl who does what she’s told. In fact, tell me I can’t do something and I will find a way to make it happen. Mum, you should have known better.

I’m not your average girl, you see. I don’t care much for girlie things and I never have. As a teenager in Devon, you’d have been more likely to find me making kitchens with my dad, the carpenter – and loving being the only teenage girl in the lumber yard carrying timber on my shoulders – than doing anything vaguely girlie at home with Mum.

I cared a bit about fashion but only to make sure I was dressed differently to everyone else. I ensured that with some of the craziest multi-coloured outfits and wacky shoes. So I guess it’s no surprise that even now I refuse to be ‘normal’. I can’t help but think that life is too short to be lived the way we ought to live it and we should live it however we want.

Yesterday I had to give my job description on a multiple-choice application form. They had every industry you could imagine except music. No-one thinks it’s a proper job. I could have ticked media, PR, creative designer, even writer because I do all that too but singer and songwriter? That’s not really a job, is it?

People ask me what my real job is and they have a look of disbelief when I tell them music is my job. ‘Yeah yeah, love...’ they reply ‘What do you really do?’ When I first came to Oxford, fresh off the plane from Sydney where I’d spent two years studying music and creative events, I landed myself a ‘normal’ corporate job. It was supposed to be a temp job but it became permanent far too easily. Very quickly I hated it. It kept me awake at night and I nearly died of creative starvation.

Much to the bewilderment of my boss, I quit, preferring instead to busk than collect my £30,000 pay cheque. Yes, very rock ‘n’ roll. Now, I live a creative musical life (Sorry Mum!) performing anywhere and everywhere from streets to theatres.

Life is anything from singing atop a pile of mattresses in a field wearing pink floral wellies, to dancing ballroom in sparkly outfits, and like those days in the lumber yard, the fellas are still surprised to see me walk into a venue with an amp in each hand and a guitar on my back. I have a chuckle to myself. I’m never quite what you’re expecting.

Nikki Loy really does work as a singer and songwriter. Find out more at nikkiloy.com and @nikkiloymusic