Nathan Evans (singer)

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Nathan Evans
Born (1994-12-19) 19 December 1994 (age 27)
Airdrie, Scotland, United Kingdom
Genres
Occupation(s)Musician
Instrument(s)
Years active2020-present
LabelsPolydor

Nathan Evans (born 19 December 1994) is a British singer from Airdrie, Scotland. He is known for singing sea shanties. Evans first gained fame in 2020 by posting videos of himself singing sea shanties on social media service TikTok. In 2021, he released a cover and dance remix of the folk song "Wellerman" which peaked at the top of the UK Singles Chart and also charted in several other countries.

Early life[edit]

Before launching his music career, Evans was a postal worker with the Royal Mail, in Airdrie, near Glasgow.[1][2] He attended Caldervale High School and has a university degree in web design.[3][4]

Music career[edit]

Evans had been posting performances of pop and folk songs to TikTok before beginning to post sea shanties, a song thought to have arisen in New Zealand.[5] He posted his first traditional sea shanty, "Leave Her Johnny", to TikTok in July 2020.[6] In the following months, viewers of his videos continued to request more sea shanties, leading Evans to posting videos of himself singing "The Scotsman" and New Zealand 19th-century maritime song "Wellerman" in December 2020.[1][7]

"Wellerman", which was already well known on the app due to the popularity of his version of the song, quickly gained views on TikTok, inspiring many others to record more sea shanties, to duet and to remix the song, including renditions by composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, comedians Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert,[8] guitarist Brian May, and entrepreneur Elon Musk.[5][7][9][10] As of January 2021, "Wellerman" had eight million views on TikTok and as of 29 May, Evans had 1.3 million followers.[11][12] The sea shanties trend on the app has been called "ShantyTok".[13] In the Rolling Stone article discussing his success, Evans cited The Albany Shantymen version of the song as inspiration.[14]

In January 2021, Evans signed a three-single recording contract with Polydor Records, releasing his official version of "Wellerman" on 22 January 2021.[3] A dance remix of the song created with producers 220 Kid and duo Billen Ted was released simultaneously.[15] Evans plans to release a five-song EP of sea shanties.[6] His growing music career led him to quit his job as a postal worker.[13] In February 2021, he signed to United Talent Agency.[16] In May 2021, Evans played his first live show. The performance took place in London aboard an electric GoBoat in the River Thames as a promotion for GoBoat's new location at Canary Wharf.[17]

Writing about the nature of Evans's success during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, Amanda Petrusich wrote in The New Yorker: "It seems possible that after nearly a year of solitude and collective self-banishment, and of crushing restrictions on travel and adventure, the chantey might be providing a brief glimpse into a different, more exciting way of life, a world of sea air and pirates and grog."[7]

Evans's second single, "Told You So", released on 25 June 2021. Like with "Wellerman", two versions were released: a folk-pop version and a dance-pop remix by Digital Farm Animals.[18] Evans released his third single, "Ring Ding (A Scotsman's Story)", on 8 October 2021.[19]

In April 2022, Evans helped publicise the Doctor Who story Legend of the Sea Devils with an adaptation of "Wellerman".[20]

Music style[edit]

Evans is a singer-songwriter, often using multiple tracks of his own voice. He accompanies himself with guitar and percussion. He sings in a baritone.[7]

Other work[edit]

In January 2022, Evans appeared as himself in the fourth episode of the seventh series of the Scottish mockumentary series Scot Squad.

Publications[edit]

In May 2021, it was announced that Evans will be publishing a collection of sea shanties titled The Book of Sea Shanties: Wellerman and Other Songs from the Seven Seas. The book was published on 14 October 2021 by Welbeck. It contains over 35 classic shanties and the stories around them, as well as new original shanties by Evans.[21]

Discography[edit]

Singles[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions
UK
[22]
AUS
[23]
AUT
[24]
BEL
(FL)

[25]
GER
[26]
IRL
[27]
NLD
[28]
NOR
[29]
SWE
[30]
SWI
[31]
"All I Want" / "Riptide" / "Leave Her Johnny"[A] 2020
"Memories"
"YOU."
"Hollywood (Acoustic)"
"Wellerman (Sea Shanty)"
(solo or 220 Kid x Billen Ted remix)
2021 1 62 1 1 1 2 1 1 9 1
"Told You So"[18]
(solo or Digital Farm Animals remix)
23
"Ring Ding (A Scotsman's Story)"[32]
"Merry Christmas Everyone" / "Driving Home for Christmas" / "Auld Lang Syne"[B]
"The Last Shanty" 2022
"—" denotes a title that did not chart, or was not released in that territory.

Music videos[edit]

Year Title
2021 "Wellerman (Sea Shanty / 220 KID x Billen Ted Remix)"
"Wellerman (Sea Shanty)"
"Ring Ding (A Scotsman's Story)"
"Told You So (Digital Farm Animals Remix)"
"Told You So"
"Driving Home for Christmas"
"Merry Christmas Everyone"
"Auld Lang Syne"
2022 "The Last Shanty"

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Nathan Evanss is the name of a three-song single.
  2. ^ Merry Christmas is the name of a three-song single.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "The Scottish postman behind 'Sea Shanty TikTok'". BBC News. 14 January 2021. Retrieved 23 January 2021.
  2. ^ Carson, Erin. "Avast ye matey! Sea shanties are taking over TikTok. Here's why". CNET. Retrieved 23 January 2021.
  3. ^ a b Browne, David (26 January 2021). "Sea Shanty Sensation Nathan Evans: 'I'm an Actual Musician'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 27 January 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ Cuttle, Jade. "Nathan Evans, the Wellerman singer and TikTok sea shanty star: 'I'm still living on my postie's wage'". ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 16 August 2021.
  5. ^ a b Suliman, Adela; Cobiella, Kelly; Itasaka, Kiko (24 January 2021). "Meet the TikTok star who inspired the 'Wellerman' sea shanty craze". NBC News. Retrieved 24 January 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ a b Reilly, Nick (22 January 2021). "Sea Shanty TikTok star Nathan Evans lands Polydor Records deal". NME. Retrieved 23 January 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ a b c d Petrusich, Amanda. "The Delights of Sea-Chantey TikTok". The New Yorker. Retrieved 23 January 2021.
  8. ^ "Watch: Stephen Colbert performs Kiwi sea shanty 'Wellerman'". msn.com. 17 January 2021.
  9. ^ Malvern, Jack (22 January 2021). "Nathan Evans lands record catch with The Wellerman sea shanty". ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 24 January 2021.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ Owen, Matt (2 February 2021). "Brian May gets in on the sea shanty action with a sizzling rock guitar cover of the viral TikTok smash". Guitar World. Retrieved 3 February 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. ^ Millman, Ethan (22 January 2021). "Sea Shanties Blew Up On TikTok. Now They're Getting Record Deals". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 23 January 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  12. ^ Ni, Vincent (21 May 2021). "TikTok: six of the video-sharing app's greatest hits". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 May 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  13. ^ a b Taylor, Alex (22 January 2021). "Sea shanty: Can viral success make a music career?". BBC News. Retrieved 23 January 2021.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  14. ^ Browne, David (26 January 2021). "Sea Shanty Sensation Nathan Evans: 'I'm an Actual Musician'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 30 March 2021.
  15. ^ Cuttle, Jade (27 January 2021). "Nathan Evans, the Wellerman singer and TikTok sea shanty star: 'I'm still living on my postie's wage'". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 28 January 2021.
  16. ^ "Sea shanty sensation Nathan Evans signs with UTA". IQ. Retrieved 10 February 2021.
  17. ^ McEachern, Megan. "Wellerman on water: Scots Sea Shanty star Nathan Evans plays first live performance on River Thames ahead of Brit Awards". The Sunday Post. Retrieved 16 May 2021.
  18. ^ a b Copsey, Rob (23 June 2021). "Nathan Evans' new single Told You So takes his sea shanty sound into big folk-pop: First listen preview". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
  19. ^ Flockhart, Gary; Bryan, Anna (8 October 2021). "Nathan Evans: Scottish sea shanty and TikTok sensation behind Wellerman releases new single - watch video here". The Scotsman. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  20. ^ "Nathan Evans - Wellerman (Sea Devils Version)". Doctor Who YouTube channel. 13 April 2022. Retrieved 16 April 2022.
  21. ^ Parr, Freya (1 June 2021). "Sea shanty TikTok star Nathan Evans to release The Book of Sea Shanties". Classical Music. Retrieved 4 June 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  22. ^ "Nathan Evans / 220 Kid x Billen Ted | full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 30 January 2021.
  23. ^ "The ARIA Report: Week Commencing 8 March 2021". The ARIA Report. No. 1618. Australian Recording Industry Association. 8 March 2021. p. 4.
  24. ^ "Discographie Nathan Evans". austriancharts.at. Retrieved 10 March 2021.
  25. ^ "Discografie Nathan Evans". ultratop.be/nl. Retrieved 13 February 2021.
  26. ^ "Discographie von Nathan Evans" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 19 February 2021.
  27. ^ "Discography Nathan Evans". irish-charts.com. Retrieved 31 January 2021.
  28. ^ "Discografie Nathan Evans". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 26 February 2021.
  29. ^ "Discography Nathan Evans". norwegiancharts.com. Retrieved 22 February 2021.
  30. ^ "Discography Nathan Evans". swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  31. ^ "Discographie Nathan Evans". hitparade.ch. Retrieved 28 February 2021.
  32. ^ "Ring Ding (A Scotsman's Story) - single by Nathan Evans". Apple Music. 8 October 2021. Retrieved 9 October 2021.

External links[edit]