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TikTok sea shanty singer signs to Polydor, rises up UK charts

By | Published on Monday 25 January 2021


If you were in any doubt about the power of TikTok to promote music, then this should tip the balance for you. Having gone viral singing sea shanties earlier this month, postman Nathan Evans signed a major label record deal last week and is now set to go into the top five in the UK singles chart this Friday.

Evans began posting sea shanty videos online last summer, gaining a certain level of popularity. However, things blew up earlier this month when he posted a cover of nineteenth century New Zealand whaling song ‘Soon May The Wellerman Come’. People began posting their own covers, EDM remixes and more, sending sea shanties up the list of trending social media topics.

On Friday, Evans announced that he had signed a record deal with Universal’s Polydor Records, telling the BBC: “I was a postman on Friday. Now I have just signed to the biggest record label in the world”.

A version of ‘The Wellerman’ by The Longest Johns is already sitting at number 37 in the latest UK singles chart. Now Evans is on course for the number four position in this week’s chart with his own full length version, which has been rushed out by Polydor.

There are various theories about why sea shanties have suddenly become so popular. The short version of most of them is basically: 2021 is going to be weird.