Sea Shanties Blew Up On TikTok. Now They're Getting Record Deals

Sea shanties are mainstream now.

Just a few weeks after TikTok creator Nathan Evans kickstarted the impeccably random sea shanty trend with his viral rendition of New Zealand standard “Wellerman” — in which many other TikTokers layered their own vocals one after another over his initial performance — Evans is officially releasing his version of track (along with a campy dance remix) through Universal’s Polydor Records.

In 2021, sea shanties have found unprecedented and truly unexpected commercial success. Before Evans unveiled his official Universal-released version Friday, January 22nd, listeners were looking around for other sea shanties wherever they could find them. According to Alpha Data, which provides data for the Rolling Stone music charts, streams for a capalla group the Longest John’s rendition of “Wellerman” — the first result on Apple Music and Spotify searches — have surged 280% in the last three weeks compared to the three weeks before since the trend started earlier this month. Their rendition of the song got nearly two million streams last week, and through Wednesday of this week, it’s already surpassed 2.7 million streams, topping the Spotify Viral 50 chart for two days. The past two weeks’ streams alone represent 40% of the recording’s all time streams, while sales in the same time frame are 58% of all of its sales.

The Wellerman. #seashanty #sea #shanty #viral #singing #acoustic #pirate #new #original #fyp #foryou #foryoupage #singer #scottishsinger #scottish

♬ original sound – N A T H A N E V A N S S