Phil and Lana’s sweet music
When she was a teenager, Lana Doublet’s father often talked about a young man at the local country music bar whose amazing voice filled the smoky venue and turned heads, despite his tender age.
Lana, whose father pushed her to meet the then 19-year-old country singing sensation, ended up marrying him 22 years later, basing her entire life around the musical genre.
“It turns out I would meet
Phil, but not through my dad,” says Lana (39). “I met him while listening to country songs with some friends at that same pub.”
Quickly falling for the young gentleman with the powerful voice, Lana confessed she too loved country singing but was far too shy to perform.
“Two years later, though, I was standing on stage entering a country music competition with Phil and a friend of ours,” she tells. “Somehow we won the group section.”
When Lana was young, she never anticipated being on stage as an adult, belting out songs she’d written, or releasing her own music that would have success on New Zealand charts.
Despite an old piano sitting unused in her childhood home that she wished she could play, Lana had no musical ties as a kid but always loved being immersed in music. “I later found out my mum could play the piano and I thought, ‘Why didn’t you teach me?!’” laughs the Christchurch local, who works in human resources.
Phil, however, knew from an early age he wanted to perform for a living, after receiving his first ukulele at four years old and starting guitar lessons at seven. By 10, the passionate musician joined a country music club to help build his confidence, dreaming of the day he would perform to audiences all over the country.
“I started teaching guitar at 15,” explains Phil, a performer and university music lecturer. Using his mentoring magic, Phil helped boost Lana’s confidence on stage, which has led to her achieving incredible recognition, including winning the New Zealand Country Music Award for Songwriter of the Year, as well as having songs beside her husband’s on local and iTunes charts. Phil, who shared a four-year working stint in Sydney with his love, has also tasted success, touring both New Zealand and Australia.
In 2014, he took out Male Artist of the Year at the National Country Music Awards for his debut album Stone & Wood, before reaching the Australian Top 40 Country Tracks Chart for his song Suitcase, a song that was co-written by Lana.
With country music the major rope holding this long-standing relationship together, it is little surprise it was a feature when they got married in Christchurch in 2016. “Music was a big part of the wedding,” Lana says cheerfully. “We wrote our wedding song that played while we walked up the aisle and had it recorded to gift it to our guests as part of the day.”
Life With You is a romantic duet that Phil says reflects the couple’s feelings for one another, expressed the way they know best
This year, the sweethearts were thrilled to both be selected as finalists for the Recorded Music
New Zealand Best
Country Artist of the Year award – making them the first married couple to compete simultaneously for the title.
While the pair didn’t take away the final win last month,
Phil is grateful to have his third album, Strength
Love Music &
Light, and Lana’s compilation Beautiful
Human on the map thanks to their nominations, and that is just the start of recent triumphs. Both also have songs on new CD compilation Best Kept Kiwi Secrets, which has soared to number three on the New Zealand Official Compilation album chart.
Phil admits he couldn’t be prouder of his talented other half, and says that between packing and travelling to gigs, they’re considering recording a joint album.
“It’s not often an individual in the industry can rise like this, let alone the both of us,” he says. “We feel very privileged.”
Phil and Lana were brought together as teenagers through their love of country music. The singers got married in Christchurch in 2016.