TikTok star Nathan Evans has now been signed to Polydor Records, thanks to the success of his rendition of 'Wellerman', a 19th-century New Zealand whaler song. His cover sparked international interest in sea shanties, with 'sea shanties' peaking as a search term on Google at its highest point in the search engine's history.


Evans's signing comes at the same time as the Bristolian folk band The Longest Johns have been signed to Decca Records. At the time of Evans's TikTok success, The Longest Johns was the only group to have a cover of 'Wellerman' available on streaming platforms, and instantly entered the UK top 40.

Nathan Evans is a former postman based in Airdrie in North Lanarkshire and began using TikTok as a space to share his own original songs. It's not clear whether he will be releasing his own material on Polydor or whether he will continue performing sea shanties.

He released 'Wellerman' as a single late last week, and it is already poised to enter the UK top 10.


You can find the lyrics to many of your favourite sea shanties here


Freya ParrDigital Editor and Staff Writer, BBC Music Magazine

Freya Parr is BBC Music Magazine's Digital Editor and Staff Writer. She has also written for titles including the Guardian, Circus Journal, Frankie and Suitcase Magazine, and runs The Noiseletter, a fortnightly arts and culture publication. Freya's main areas of interest and research lie in 20th-century and contemporary music.