Tones and I struck fame with her latest single “Dance Monkey” released in May 2019. The song, along with a whacky music video, managed to reach #1 in Australia, Germany, New Zealand, UK and more. This is a massive accomplishment considering “Dance Monkey” is just her second single in her career.
“Dance Monkey” is the second single off of the Australian singer and songwriter Toni Watson, better known by her stage name Tones and I. This is the followup single to her first single ever “Johnny Run Away” released in March 2019, from her debut EP ‘The Kids Are Coming’ released on August 30, 2019.
Tones and I spoke about the song in an interview with TripleJUnearthed; “I wrote this song about being a busker and realizing that you can definitely tell that people are so entertained now by the click of a button now or a swipe. And when you’re playing live shows, I can see that, and I think there were a lot of times when I was busking where there were a lot of people in your face, like, “More, more! Go again, again, again!” … There were times where it was really prominent that people were so used to be able to swipe and see something different to entertain themselves that the patience had diminished. The quick changeovers were kind of what you need to do on the street now. You have to really be quick, you can’t talk as much, tell your story and get on with the song.”
Watch the music video below.
As explained by the artist, the song is about the expectations placed on artists by producers and the music industry in general. In the lyrics Toni sings how the industry demands artists to keep on putting out big hits for profits – “and I’ll make you do it all again.”
A dancing monkey is a symbolism for being mindlessly controlled by some superior party. As such, the producers, the labels and the industry have an invisible grip on the artists to keep on performing. Tones and I sneak in some of the flamboyant words used by the industry to motivate the artists to stretch themselves more and more; “Oh my god, I see the way you shine,” “you make me wanna cry,” “I’ve never seen anybody do the things you do before,” and so on.
It is quite ironical that a song on how artists are exploited to keep on making big hits became Tones and I’s biggest hit yet.
Tones and I also announced upcoming ‘The Kinds Are Coming’ tour dates from February to March in 2020.
Check out the complete lyrics to “Dance Monkey” by Tones and I below.