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, Beastwars, Tiny Ruins, Melodownz, Sachi and Reb Fountain.

Hollie Fullbrook, Tiny Ruins

What does NZMM mean to you?

It may affect the wider industry in more tangible ways than individual artists or bands. I think NZMM's aim has been to also encourage more local music on the airwaves. It'd be nice if that encouraged more focus year-round. Compared to Australia for instance, we have very low levels of local music played on our radio stations.

What's your classic NZ album? Bic Runga's Drive. I would've been 12 when it came out. I'd just started playing guitar and found it really inspiring. I remember lying on the lounge floor a lot listening to it.

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Who would you most like to collab with? I'm not sure. I always feel awkward thinking about that sort of thing, like saying it publicly might make it happen, or create a situation. I've enjoyed singing bits on a few peoples' records, though.

* Tiny Ruins 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

James Woods, Beastwars

What does NZMM mean to you?

This year, given the global situation, it's more important than it's ever been before. We need to support local businesses, bands and musicians.

What's your classic NZ album? It's a toss up between Skeptics 3 and Boodle Boodle Boodle by The Clean. I'll say Boodle because I think it's slightly more quintessentially Noo Zullund.

Who would you most like to collab with? Delaney Davidson, the darkness in his song writing and voice would go so well with our style. And he's a top bloke.

What's your most memorable live music experience in Aotearoa? The reunion show we played in Wellington after our two year hiatus. I was so nervous. We didn't know if we still had it. The roar from the crowd when we walked on was so humbling and wonderful.

* Beastwars 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

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Melodownz

What does NZMM mean to you?

Every month's NZ music month for me but it's a great opportunity for the rest of NZ to get on board and support home grown music.

Who should we be listening to? There's this young king called Ranui Mars, he's a hood poet. I would say he's the West Auckland Tupac, telling stories that are close to home and a voice for the unheard youth.

What's your most memorable live music experience in Aotearoa? Performing in Christchurch last year to support the people affected by the mosque shootings, it was a special moment in history, all NZ music legends and artists on one stage in front of 20,000 people. A lot of unity and love that night.

Sachi

What does NZMM mean to you?

It's a reason to be thinking about and listening to NZ artists, to appreciate existing favourites or take time to discover something new.

Who would you most like to collab with? I'd really like to do something with Connan Mockasin because he gets really wacky live. We would do some bizarre shit.

What's your classic NZ album? Lorde's Pure Heroine because it defined the current era of NZ music and paved the way for so many of us to have careers.

Reb Fountain

What does NZMM mean to you?

This year musicians are not only out of pocket due to the impact of covid-19, but have in many ways lost a sense of purpose and meaning. Live performance, touring and audiences are the lifeblood of a musician's identity, as are the places and spaces we congregate to work with industry folk to put on shows. In lieu of no live performances, I'll be doing my best to support fellow musicians, venues and crew around the country, with a focus on sending aroha and creating new ways of doing the work we love; work that is so much a part of who we are.

What's your classic New Zealand album?Hellzapoppin' by 3D's. I cranked this record.

Who would you most like to collab with? I'm so into Jess B right now .. I'm crossing my fingers I can work with her in the future in some way. She's super smart and such an incredible writer and performer – we are very lucky to have her on our shores.

What's your most memorable live music experience in Aotearoa? I went on a date to see Straitjacket Fits at the Carlton in Christchurch when I was 16… totally underage. I'd never seen anything like it. They were amazing. The date wasn't so hot...

*Reb Fountain's self-titled new album has just been released.