A transtasman musical match

Camille and Stuie French are on in Gisborne.

Camille and Stuie French are on in Gisborne.

COUNTRY KIDS: Aussie-Kiwi singing duo Camille Te Nahu and Stuie French with son Sonny. Picture supplied

KIWI-Australian country music duo Camille Te Nahu and Stuie French have made the music lifestyle work, and with enviable success.

The parents of three are full-time musicians, songwriters, recording artists and producers.

If you’re not a country music kid, you might not recognise the pair, who go professionally by the name Camille and Stuie, but they’re a bit of a big deal across the ditch.

They have recorded and released five albums to date, in 2014 they were invited by Australian guitar legend Tommy Emmanuel to guest perform at the annual Chet Atkins Appreciation Society in Nashville, and their music has featured on Australian period drama A Place To Call Home.

“We love working together,” says Camille.

“It’s great, except when you have to sort out logistics with the children.”

That won’t be a problem for long, with 9-year-old son Sonny already a regular feature on their set list.

“Sonny’s a lovely little singer. He’ll be opening our set in Gisborne,” says Camille.

The musical mother, who grew up in Gisborne, made her own progression into music through family ties. Camille’s story is told in an episode of Maori Television’s Unsung Heroes of Maori Music.

In the documentary, Camille’s mother Pele Te Nahu describes her daughter’s natural signing talent.

“At primary school they had a test on music, she wasn’t really into music much then, but she got 100 percent in it, for pitch,” she says.

Camille explains how she used to spend a lot of time in Mahia singing with her cousins.

“When I was eight, my dad took me along to the Gisborne Country Music Club to see uncle ‘Andy’ Anaru Te Nahu.”

“Dad said, ‘now you just sit there and listen, don’t stand up’ but I did.”

That was the start of Camille’s journey into country music, a journey which took her across the ditch and into the domain of Tasmanian country music man and now husband, Stuie.

The pair met while touring in 1999 but it took another three years for them to get together.

“I’ll never forget the first time I heard Camille sing,” says Stuie.

“It took my breath away, as well as the rest of the guys in the band, and suddenly our musicianship went up a couple of notches.

“Over the years she has taught me a new way to approach guitar playing. After all, why would you want to get in the way of a voice like that?”

Together, the pair produce a warm, country-heavy, easy-on-the-ear sound dappled with elements of jazz.

With more than 10 years of experience as a musical duo, Camille and Stuie’s latest album, Tahi, is a polished mix of easy-listening originals and covers, including Fred Neil’s Everybody’s Talkin (made famous by Harry Nilsson).

Camille planned to hold the New Zealand launch of Tahi in her hometown but popular demand has meant the tour has been expanded.

“It started with a holiday and a show in Gisborne and then it expanded into Auckland, Timaru, Hamilton, and Tauranga,” says Camille.

“It’s always good to be able to go home and play.”


  • Camille and Stuie play The White House on December 23 (8pm) and the Dome Room (sold out) on December 29 (8pm).

KIWI-Australian country music duo Camille Te Nahu and Stuie French have made the music lifestyle work, and with enviable success.

The parents of three are full-time musicians, songwriters, recording artists and producers.

If you’re not a country music kid, you might not recognise the pair, who go professionally by the name Camille and Stuie, but they’re a bit of a big deal across the ditch.

They have recorded and released five albums to date, in 2014 they were invited by Australian guitar legend Tommy Emmanuel to guest perform at the annual Chet Atkins Appreciation Society in Nashville, and their music has featured on Australian period drama A Place To Call Home.

“We love working together,” says Camille.

“It’s great, except when you have to sort out logistics with the children.”

That won’t be a problem for long, with 9-year-old son Sonny already a regular feature on their set list.

“Sonny’s a lovely little singer. He’ll be opening our set in Gisborne,” says Camille.

The musical mother, who grew up in Gisborne, made her own progression into music through family ties. Camille’s story is told in an episode of Maori Television’s Unsung Heroes of Maori Music.

In the documentary, Camille’s mother Pele Te Nahu describes her daughter’s natural signing talent.

“At primary school they had a test on music, she wasn’t really into music much then, but she got 100 percent in it, for pitch,” she says.

Camille explains how she used to spend a lot of time in Mahia singing with her cousins.

“When I was eight, my dad took me along to the Gisborne Country Music Club to see uncle ‘Andy’ Anaru Te Nahu.”

“Dad said, ‘now you just sit there and listen, don’t stand up’ but I did.”

That was the start of Camille’s journey into country music, a journey which took her across the ditch and into the domain of Tasmanian country music man and now husband, Stuie.

The pair met while touring in 1999 but it took another three years for them to get together.

“I’ll never forget the first time I heard Camille sing,” says Stuie.

“It took my breath away, as well as the rest of the guys in the band, and suddenly our musicianship went up a couple of notches.

“Over the years she has taught me a new way to approach guitar playing. After all, why would you want to get in the way of a voice like that?”

Together, the pair produce a warm, country-heavy, easy-on-the-ear sound dappled with elements of jazz.

With more than 10 years of experience as a musical duo, Camille and Stuie’s latest album, Tahi, is a polished mix of easy-listening originals and covers, including Fred Neil’s Everybody’s Talkin (made famous by Harry Nilsson).

Camille planned to hold the New Zealand launch of Tahi in her hometown but popular demand has meant the tour has been expanded.

“It started with a holiday and a show in Gisborne and then it expanded into Auckland, Timaru, Hamilton, and Tauranga,” says Camille.

“It’s always good to be able to go home and play.”


  • Camille and Stuie play The White House on December 23 (8pm) and the Dome Room (sold out) on December 29 (8pm).
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