It is probably fair to say that Reggae is a genre of music that's not typically associated with China. Based on the fact the music genre that is typically strongly associated with religion and the habitual use of natural drugs alone naturally shelves it as a taboo in China. Coupled with the fact that a China preoccupied with the cultural revolution missed the heyday of Reggae meaning that the Caribbean music art-form has been slow to take off in mainstream China.
However, try telling that to the youth in south-western provinces of Guangdong and Yunnan and they may very well disagree. Yunnan, the jewel in Chinese reggae's undersized crown, has birthed some of China's most famous reggae acts in recent years with bands such as Jiang Liang Sound System (蒋亮的声音系统), Yunnan Reggae (云南雷鬼), Pu'er Dub Allstars (云南民间的回响) and San Duo Jiao (三跺脚) all hailing from China's most south-western province (that chunky one that borders Vietnam and Burma and which holds modern-day Shangri-la).
Just listening to the rhythmic and almost therapeutic sounds of the traditional Wa minority (also known as Va or Kawa) music, its easy to see why reggae, with its rythymic and sensual dub vibes, is a sound that resonates in Yunnan. Not to just mention musical influences, but the warm and sunny climate and a certain (wink wink, nudge nudge) plant that grows naturally down there also seamlessly go hand in hand with reggae and dub music.
One of the newest bands to come from this Sino-Caribbean Babylon is Kawa. Hailing out of Yunnan, the relatively new band formed in 2014 and are have recently completed work on a new album which will be released early next year. Although a relatively new band, Kawa have a lot of reggae pedigree through Lao Hei, their guitarist who is also the front man for Yunnan Reggae (云南雷鬼) and the Pu'er Dub Allstars (云南民间的回响).
On a recent one off show in Shanghai, Kawa, jumped through Hangzhou to play a last minute show at the famed 9 Club. Here's some snaps: