NZ Music Month will look a little different this year, with all events having to take place at a safe social distance. But there's still lots to celebrate, so we rounded up some of our favourite Kiwi musos to mark the occasion. Today, Mermaidens, Devilskin, Theia, Louis Baker and L.A.B

Mermaidens

What does NZMM mean to you?

Lily West: Heritage. NZMM instantly signals the black tee with iconic white circles my dad got me. So much of the NZ music I love was introduced by my family - car trips spent listening to Fur Patrol, Bic Runga and dad's Flying Nun albums. There's pride and trust each time my dad hands over a record from his collection to mine. Still waiting on that original Toy Love pressing though…

Who should we be listening to? Gussie Larkin: Koizilla. Turbo-charged noisy-psychedelic-surf-doom from Dunedin. Listen to their latest album: I Don't Surf, I Boogie.
Abe Hollingsworth: I always rep Womb and Hans Pucket, so I'm going to
say Ben Woods because he is making the most beautiful delicate music.

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What's your classic New Zealand album Abe Hollingsworth: The Front Lawn
Lily: Crazy? Yes! Dumb? No! by the Mint Chicks. For being the coolest addition to my CD wallet in 2006 and showing me that weird and abrasive sounds can be very, very good.
Gussie: Pegasus by The Phoenix Foundation. It came out when I was 12 years old and my Dad used to play it all the time. I've always loved the lyrics, the instrumentation and there's some killer bass tones in there too.

* Mermaidens are one of the finalists for this year's Taite Music Prize. You can watch the awards ceremony streamed live on Facebook on Tuesday May 5, from 6.30pm

Nail, Devilskin

What does NZMM mean to you?

It's a celebration and an opportunity for more Kiwi bands to get their music recognised. We're fiercely proud of being Kiwis and it's great the industry stands up and wants to shout about Kiwi music. Long may it continue.

What's your most memorable live music experience in Aotearoa? Performing a sold out show with Disturbed at Spark Arena was unbelievable. We found out just before going on stage that our album Be Like the River had charted at No.1 on the Official Album Chart. Playing alongside a band like Disturbed with our album on top of the charts was a buzz!

What's your classic NZ album? The Datsuns by The Datsuns. Rock bands here struggle - with the exception of a select few - and often don't get the recognition they deserve. They had the biggest record companies running after them and it was great to see. It showed us what could be achieved. It certainly gave me motivation.

* Devilskin's new album Red is out now and has just been released on red vinyl.

Theia

What does NZMM mean to you?

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A chance to reflect and celebrate the incredible talent - past and present - in Aotearoa. It's more poignant this year because the industry has been hit so hard.

Who should we be listening to?I'm the biggest fan of Emily Fairlight. I adore the emotion in her writing and vocal.

Who would you most like to collab with? Emily Fairlight! Our styles are at the opposite end of the spectrum but there's beauty in difference.

What's your classic NZ album? Dennis Marsh's Maori Songbook. It reminds me of my kui (grandmother). We played this CD on repeat, singing along in the car. Every song's a classic that I've grown up with at parties and kapahaka. It's very special to me.

What's your classic New Zealand album?
Dennis Marsh's Māori Songbook because it reminds me of my kui (grandmother). We played this CD on repeat singing along to it in the car. Every song is a classic that I've grown up with at parties and kapahaka. It's a very special record to me.

* Theia releases Celebrity, the final track from her 99% Angel mixtape on May 15.

Louis Baker

What does NZMM mean to you?

It's when we collectively celebrate NZ Music, and that's a positive thing.

Who should we be listening to? Rob Ruha. He's an amazing artist with a true connection to his culture and mahi. He's crazy talented, and has huge compassion for people.

Who would you most like to collab with? Che Fu. I've always been a big fan, and he's the nicest dude!

What's your classic NZ album? Fat Freddy's Drop, Based on a True Story. This album helped shape me as a songwriter and singer.

What's your most memorable live music experience in Aotearoa? Playing Blue Smoke at the opening of Te Rau Aroha Museum, in Waitangi. It was a moving moment and meant a lot to our family. My father and I went along to honour my grandfather, Lieutenant Colonel Frederick Baker DSO, and all the men and whanau of the 28th Maori Battalion.

* Louis Baker is one of the finalists for this year's Taite Music Prize. You can watch the awards ceremony streamed live on Facebook on Tuesday May 5, from 6.30pm

L.A.B

What does NZMM mean to you?

It's special because it shines a light on homegrown music. This year it's more important than ever with the current climate. Support local!

Who should we be listening to? Benee, she has her own sound and swag.

What's your classic NZ album? Crowded House's Temple of a Low Man was stuck in the car on repeat as a young fella.

Who would you most like to collab with? Dave Dobbyn. Why? Because he's Dave Dobbyn!

* L.A.B are one of the finalists for this year's Taite Music Prize. You can watch the awards ceremony streamed live on Facebook on Tuesday May 5, from 6.30pm