If you’ve ever listened to music on the radio or online you’ve definitely heard this song. Dance Monkey by Tones and I became an instant hit and spread around the world like wildfire. It’s catchy, you can dance to it and it sounds very different from any other singing you’ve heard before. This song actually became number one in song charts in more than 30 countries and broke the record by staying number one on the ARIA Singles Chart for 24 weeks.
But the strange thing about this song and the performer is that many people thought it was autotuned, and that’s not exactly surprising in this day and age. However, after Tones and I performed live on Ellen everyone was blown away. Turns out the singer whose real name is Tony Watson actually sounds like that. There’s no autotuning, no distortion, that’s just her voice, and she actually sounds exactly like that in real life when performing the song live.
Tones and I knew she liked singing and that it might be a career path for her since early childhood. She says that the first time she thought about it was when she was only 7 years old. She was out in the park with her family and cousins and they were singing songs just for fun when her aunt said: “oh, she can actually hold a note” and that was the first Toni remembered someone pointing out her singing abilities.
She learned to play the piano and some drum pads when she was in secondary school, which only got her more into music. She, later on, started a youtube channel where she would post acapella songs, she also would busk on the regular and eventually play in pubs and bars. She did a few gigs here and there and took part in music festivals too. But it was the song Dance Monkey that brought her worldwide recognition.
It actually seems to have come full circle, because the song that went viral was written about her busking experience. She often heard people talk to her on the street as she was performing and she just gathered all those things and put it in a song.
So when you listen to the lyrics you will hear “ Oh my god I see the way you shine”, “You know you stop me dead while I was walking by”, “You make me wanna cry”, “I beg to see you dance just one more time”, all those things came from people complimenting her as she was busking. How awesome it must be to get the recognition not only on the street but all over the world.