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How Scottish Tik-Tok Sensation, Nathan Evans, Got Signed With a Record Label

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BILLBOARD: Sea Shanty Sensation Nathan Evans Joins UTA


You might be aware of the “Wellerman” and its various remixes that have been going viral. According to a video he posted, the singer signed a contract with Polydor Records. He also released the “Wellerman” as his first single.

The song is extremely catchy and uplifting. The rhythm is fairly simple and repetitive. It is no surprise that those factors combined resulted in a surge in popularity.

The singer, Nathan Evans, was a Scottish postman, with a passion for music. He started his TikTok account in January 2020. Slowly, through viewer recommendations, he came across sea shanties. Soon after that, his channel blew up and he was recognized professionally as a singer.


Sea shanties originated around the 19th century and were known as labor songs. Merchant sailors (not pirates) sang these songs to synchronize and optimize their work. That is why they all have a very distinct beat and the lyrics are mostly about work, women, and alcohol.

Left to right. Fred Carter, Neville Threlfall, Peter Murphy, Francis Gill. An Australian Sea Shanty band, the ***** Firkins is entertaining crowds around the Tall Ships as they follow the sailing ships from port to port. The four crusty old seadogs from Fremantle Western Australia are pictured onboard the Polish Tall Ship, “Dar Mledziezy” at Darling Harbour. January 22, 1988. (Photo by Trevor James Robert Dallen/Fairfax Media via Getty Images).

Evans was one of the singers, who created a craze for sea shanties this year. Google searches for ‘sea shanty‘ this January was at an all-time high. However, nobody really knows why these songs became so popular all of a sudden, after centuries.

So why are they so popular?

The BBC’s Science Focus suggests that it might have to do with the sea shanties being very catchy and upbeat. Also, they are meant to bond crews to help them sync. Which, during a pandemic, when everyone is separated and alone, might have served as a driver for its success. Sea shanties are very repetitive. Also, practically anyone can chip in, so they become more of a community effort, instead of a single song.

Here is a video of TIkTokers coming together to create the ultimate version of the song, right after it became extremely popular: