Toni Watson, known on stage as Tones and I is a 19 year old singer and songwriter from Australia. You will probably know her as the artist that brought us the single “Dance Monkey” which reached number one on the official music charts in over 30 countries this year!
So who is Tones? As a 2019 breakout artist we have all been singing along in the car or jamming out to her song at parties, but there is still not a lot of information on who she is outside of her song lyrics.
Tones was born and raised in Victoria Australia, learning to play keyboard and drum pads while in high school. In 2017 she quit her job in retail to focus on a music career. Watching buskers perform outside the store she worked in, inspired her to follow her dream for a music career.
The now music artist spent 2018 living out of her van in Byron Bay, just south of Brisbane on the Gold Coast. While living in her van, Tones wrote music and busked for a living. In an interview with the Evening Standard, she said she was “the happiest I’ve been in my life”.
On May 10 2019 Tones released the single “Dance Monkey” which soared to the top of the official music charts in over 30 countries.
In November this year she broke the record for most weeks at the top of the ARIA singles chart (16 weeks) which beat the record previously held by Ed Sheeran with his song “Shape of You.” This is a stunning achievement for an artist who had just months earlier been living out of a van.
Despite her massive achievements Tones has always retained a sense of who she is as an individual. In her speech at the 2019 ARIA awards she explained that;
"I'm not into make-up or dresses or typically girly things. But to me, those things don't really define what it is to be a female artist in this industry any more, It's being brave and courageous and true to yourself."
The 19 year old wants to "show any artist that you can get through it and maintain your sense of self". This is an amazing message for up and coming singer/songwriters, as well as those already established in the industry.
Tones and I will be performing “Dance Monkey” alongside her other hits at Trustpower Baypark Stadium on the 5th of January and Q97 have a double pass to give away! If you want a chance to win, head along to our Facebook Page and get in the draw.