One of many reasons to love the month of May is it’s a month that is dedicated to something that is uniquely and truly kiwi - New Zealand music of course!
New Zealand music month first began in 2001 and was started as an attempt to increase the amount of kiwi music on our airwaves, which at that time was only around 10%.
The project has worked wonders and the success of this is reflected in the pumping crowds at the annual Homegrown festival and the dramatic increase of kiwi tunes filling our ear holes.
This year legendary kiwi rock band Shihad kicked off NZ music month in true rock and roll style playing three shows across three major cities in one day.
So to help you get in the mood to celebrate some awesome kiwi hits here's my top 5 for NZ music month, a selection of artists and tunes that are close to my heart.
1. As spoken about above, Shihad are truly kiwi rock legends they've been on the scene for a few years now, but a classic favourite is without doubt "Home Again". Some other great Kiwi rock groups are I Am Giant, Ekko Park and DevilSkin from more recent times.
2. A group that hasn't been on the scene quite as long, and are a little bit underground, but have what could be nearly regarded as a cult following regardless is Homebrew Crew. Representing a very real kiwi demographic their fresh tunes are about just chilling out and being young. Despite the chilled out melodies of the majority of their tracks, many have a deeper heavier meaning. Consequently Homebrew have found themselves in the middle of controversies after rapping about our very own John Key with their track 'Listen to Us'. I've chosen a slightly less controversial tune to share, one that was responsible for me getting hooked on them.
3. Dub & roots was an entire genre I had to roll together, I love so much of the music that is produced by the likes of; Tiki Taane (TikiDub Productions), Kora, Shapeshifter, Fat Freddy's Drop, Six60 just to name a couple. They are in a class of their own and have a lot of respect from international audiences also. A favourite track of mine is a great collaboration and ultimate summer road trip tune.
4. Again, reggae is another genre I had to mash completely together. It may not be everyone's cup of tea but the original reggae masters from the 1980s has to be the Herbs. Preaching from the soul at a turbulent time in New Zealand's history during David Lange's time as Prime Minister. You won't come across many kiwis that aren't familiar with their melodic pleas of French Letter. Having to choose one track between The Black Seeds, 1814, Sons of Zion and House of Shem just to name a couple was near impossible but I've gone with an iconic kiwi summer tune from the Black Seeds.
5. Lastly it couldn't be an NZ music month line up without mentioning Lorde. Starting her career as just your average Auckland North Shore high school girl, she has just recently been to and preformed at Coachella and is now best buddies with Taylor Swift, what a life! She also has a killer Instagram account which is well worth a scroll. Another major up and comer of what's becoming a curious edgy Kiwi genre all of it's own is the group Broods. This brother and sister team are pumping out some amazing tracks and because we all know and love Lorde, I decided to choose a Broods song I love for number five, enjoy.
I have once or twice been asked if I "have a bit of a thing" for New Zealand music, and I'd have to reply yes. Aside from getting painfully patriotic, they're just awesome tracks! Bring on the rest of the month and hopefully some new tunes to sink our teeth into.
Grace Pettit is the Content Marketer for Grass Roots Media NZ. She regularly blogs about Agricultural Industry news, Social Media updates and anything in line with her passions of Horses, Young Farmers and Agriculture