Gabriella Cilmi's second album was "like a time bomb ticking at the back of her head".

The 'Woman On A Mission' singer admits working on 'Ten' - the follow-up to her 2008 debut LP 'Lessons to be Learned' - was "emotionally draining" because she had to record on such a tight schedule.

She told BANG Showbiz: "It took me three years to write my first record then last year I was recording for the whole year and I felt like the whole time I had this time bomb ticking at the back of my head because I only had a year to make it.

"This time it was proper lockdown in the studio, being there from the afternoon until five o'clock in the morning sometimes, working with groups of people, which is hard for me, because when you're writing something personal like a song it's hard to put that in group environment.

"It was quite an emotionally draining experience writing this record."

Gabriella, 18, also admitted she suffers from stage fright and was especially worried about singing the National Anthem at the recent Australian Grand Prix, in front of an estimated worldwide TV audience of 200 million people.

She added: "I'm nervous every time I perform. As soon as I'm there on the stage I feel better, but I usually feel like I'm having heart attacks before I go onstage. The grand prix was really nerve wracking."