Before Wellerman, I experienced panic attacks, says Nathan Evans

Nathn, Holly, and the infant

A sea shanties he posted on social media went viral, turning Nathan Evans into an overnight sensation.

But he revealed in a recent BBC documentary the difficult times he went through before his 60-second clip went viral around the world.

The 28-year-old gained notoriety in late 2020 after a TikTok video of the Wellerman shanties from the 19th century led to a record deal and a Number 1 single in several nations, including the UK.

Airdrie native Nathan had only been working as a postman for a few months after overcoming mental health issues.

In What Next for the Wellerman?, he describes how panic attacks forced him to leave his building trade job as a steel erector.

Nathan says, "I had to get up at five thirty and work a 12-hour shift and it was always hard work.".

"It's awful when it's cold. It can be very miserable to be outside when it is cold. ".

In the documentary, Nathan admits that he was having mental health issues prior to quitting his job.

"There was a time when I was working on a project and suddenly felt like crying. My chest tightened, my breathing became labored, and I began to perspire.

"While in the cherry picker, I began to experience panic attacks, at which point I declared, "I'm not doing this any more. ".

When Nathan was off of work for a few months, his niece and nephew insisted that he put more effort into his music and upload videos to Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.

A fan requested he perform the sea shanty Leave Her Johnny in response to one of his songs.

Although fans suggested dozens of other songs for Nathan to perform, he freely admits that he had no knowledge of the song or the musical genre. Nevertheless, it became his most popular video.

Wellerman was on the list, but Nathan didn't get around to it for several months.

However, the clip immediately gained popularity after he uploaded it in December 2020.

Nathan Evans
Nathan wants to become a successful singer-songwriter.

Nathan remembers that prior to his success, he and Holly, his wife whom he met at school, were going through a difficult time.

Holly says, "We were constantly under pressure, wondering if the next paycheck would be enough to cover everything.".

But all of a sudden, things changed.

Nathan explains, "It was like the flip of a switch.

"The world just turned upside down. I went from being in so much debt and struggling to being signed to a record label and having a manager the very next second.

"I managed to pay off the debt and purchase the house we had been hoping to own. ".

Holly acknowledges that she worried about losing him because of how quickly he became successful and how busy he was.

It confused us a little bit, she says.

"It was a really difficult year. Sincerely, I didn't believe we would still be together. ".

Nathan as a toddler
Nathan was raised in Lanarkshire's Airdrie.

According to Nathan, he took advantage of every opportunity that came his way because he knew he had to use it to launch his music career.

In his own words, "I could see where I wanted to go and thought there was nothing going to stop me from getting there.".

Holly explains: "You have to let Nathan do what he wants to do and see where it takes him. He's destined for great things. ".

It has been difficult to pursue a career in music while maintaining your reputation as the sea-shanty guy.

His new songs, which are more oriented toward pop music, have been receiving a lot of attention in Germany, where he has been spending a lot of time.

"Back home, even family members will ask me "are you still doing music?" because I don't get the exposure I do in Germany.

They are unaware of the concerts, TV shows, and festivals I perform in Germany. ".

nathan evans
Holly and Nathan first connected at their respective schools.

Nathan was filming a music video in Germany at the end of April when Holly gave birth four weeks early.

Nathan hurried back to their home in Lanarkshire, where their first child, Hunter, was born under difficult circumstances and spent some time in intensive care.

Nathan explains, "It was really scary.".

But now that he's healthy, his lungs are in great shape. ".

According to Nathan, the BBC documentary aims to demonstrate to viewers that he is more than just The Wellerman and the TikTok guy.

He says, "I'm hoping we can stay away from that TikTok star and become Nathan Evans the artist.".

On Thursday, July 6 at 22:30, BBC Scotland will broadcast What Next for the Wellerman.

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