BEAU­TI­FUL DUETS

Phil and Lana’s sweet mu­sic

New Zealand Woman’s Weekly - - THIS WEEK IN... - Cloe Wil­letts

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

– mu­sic.

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.

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