When I first started studying Chinese, I don’t think I would have even had enough imagination to ask if a Chinese reggae band existed; I mean really— Chinese reggae? As it happens, I just happened to stumble upon one such band the other day—they’re called Long Shen Dao (龙神道 lóng shén dào).
The whole thing was actually quite accidental—-I was looking for a playlist of Chinese music to play while I was doing some work and one of the youtube thumbnails popped out at me. After checking out the video (not this one), I just copied the name of the band (from the title of the video) and pasted it into the youtube search box and–voila–the song below was in the results.
If you generally like reggae, I think you’ll have to agree that they’ve got a really good handle on the sounds of classic reggae. One interesting touch is that they use a zither (古筝 gǔzhēng) in most of their songs. Definitely worth a listen.
I think many folks would find the meeting of Chinese and Caribbean culture interesting and potentially intriguing; however, as a Canadian of mixed Welsh-Scottish/West-Indian origin, reggae (and to a greater extent, calypso) was what my dad and his friends would play at house parties when I was little. It was good fun to have such a ‘home culture’ connection moment with this unique corner of the Chinese music scene. The real kicker will be when I play this song for my dad.
For the record, reggae in Chinese is 雷鬼 (léi guǐ).