As we write this story, Scottish artist Nathan Evans is on course for a top 10 hit in the UK with ‘Wellerman’ – his sea-shanty cover that took TikTok by storm. There’s an obligatory heartwarming story about him giving up his job as a postman for a career in music. But behind this, there’s an industry move: Evans has signed a record deal with Polydor to release the song, as well as a – and you may want to look away now if you’re already sick of the whole sea shanties thing – dance remix of the track.
It’s one of the quickest examples yet of the ‘TikTok trend —> Label deal —> Chart hit’ dynamic, but rest assured, with a number of labels speedily convening ‘what to do with sea shanties’ meetings, there will be more signings and releases.
We’d make a comparison to the tropical house boom in the mid-2010s, but that risks summoning a tropical sea shanties hybrid trend, and nobody needs that. Or do they… *convenes urgent A&R team Zoom call*
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