There’s a reason why the Jamaican singer Gyptian’s 2010 dancehall-inspired single “Hold Yuh” has more than 43 million listens on Spotify (and 23 million views on YouTube, but who’s counting?). Sure, it’s a great track, with propulsive piano chords and an insanely catchy, dance-inducing rhythm. But there’s another reason why the song has traveled so far and attracted so many listens: It was Gyptian’s first-ever crossover record. Before “Hold Yuh,” the singer was little known outside of both Africa and the reggae community. He’s since expanded his listener base, as well as his discography, which includes as many as two dozen releases. His subsequent crossover tracks, like 2012’s “Wine Slow” and “Overtime,” haven’t reached the same heights as “Hold Yuh,” but Gyptian doesn’t appear to be tripping over this. In fact, in recent years, he’s started making more roots and lover’s rock reggae music, because he believes that’s what the world needs to hear now. He may be onto something with that.
At 10 p.m., Friday, Jan. 27, at New Karibbean City in Oakland. $25 and up; nkcoakland.com