Meet the Scottish man behind the TikTok sea shanty trend

Laura Hampson
·2-min read
Nathan Evans found TikTok fame by singing sea shanties (PA)
Nathan Evans found TikTok fame by singing sea shanties (PA)

Former postman, Nathan Evans, started singing sea shanties on TikTok in July 2020, but it wasn’t until December that he went viral with ‘The Wellerman’.

Evans, from Airdrie, Scotland, has now amassed more than 7.5 million views with his rendition and counts Andrew Lloyd Webber among the celebrities to record themselves singing along with him.

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Now, the 26-year-old has been hailed for bringing the shanty to a new generation.

“Back in the day when the shanties were sung, it was to bring everybody together, to keep them all in time, to keep the morale high,” he told PA.

“Especially in this time when everybody’s stuck at home, they’re doing their remote working – they can join in, and it kind of brings everybody together.

“So I think it’s just kind of brought it into this day and age. It makes it feel like you’re all united. Especially seeing how creative everybody can be with it.”

As for why this sea shanty has resonated with millions, Evans said he believes his accent adds to the song, but he also believes singing can act as a tonic during lockdown.

The success of Evans’ shanty singing has prompted him to quit his job as a postman to pursue a career in music.

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“It all started getting hectic,” he said. “I was getting emails about interviews and radio, and it kept rolling on.

“On the Friday [15 January] I was like ‘Right, I need to make a change here’, because I was too busy on my phone looking at emails and trying to post letters. I was like: ‘This is not sustainable’.”

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Evans’ ultimate goal would be to make an album.

“The future will be quite bright, I hope. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, it’s never going to come around again. Hopefully if nothing comes of it then I can go back and continue being a postman, but I thought at the minute I’ll seize it and see what happens.”

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