The Scottish postman who pioneered a worldwide trend of posting Sea Shanties on TikTok has spoken out on their popularity, explaining that they have “a bit of everything that appeals to everyone”.
Royal Mail worker Nathan Evans became a viral hit on the social media app in December, where his performances of the traditional sailor songs have garnered millions of views.
His first upload came in July with a traditional ditty that went on to score 1.1 million views from TikTok users across the globe.
But Nathan’s biggest hit came in the form of the New Zealand folk song ‘The Wellerman’ – which has been viewed a staggering 4.3 million times.
The Sea Shanty craze has also become a source of collaboration between other TikTokers.
“It is crazy and has gone much further than I ever thought it would go,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
“I did a sea shanty back in July 2020, just because someone had asked in a comment under one of my videos.
“So I uploaded that and it reached 1.1m views. I thought there must have been a demand.
“People were looking forward to more and they were commenting underneath every video after that saying can you sing this one, can you sing that one – it was just requests from people for me to sing them.”
The songs were originally sung by merchant seamen as they carried out day-to-day tasks on ships.
“When they were originally sung they were designed to keep everyone in time with the work they were doing,” Nathan added.
“So I think its the fact you can get everyone involved, everyone can join in, you don’t need to necessarily be able to sing, the words are simple and it is just the beat and the voices. I think it’s a bit of everything that appeals to everyone.”
— GoogleTrends (@GoogleTrends) January 12, 2021
According to Google Trends, Nathan’s performances have led to “sea shanties” enjoying their biggest-ever popularity in the search engine’s history.
He added: “Three or four people have recognised me.
“One day I was delivering a parcel to a lady and as I was handing it over she gave me a funny look and said: ‘I’ve seen you on my phone.'”