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Toni Watson (birthdate unknown, presumably August 15, 2000 (2000-08-15) [age 19] or May 13, 1993 (1993-05-13) [age 26]), known professionally as Tones and I, is an Australian singer and songwriter.

She released her debut single, "Johnny Run Away", on 1 March 2019. Her follow-up "Dance Monkey" was released on 10 May 2019 and reached number one on the official music charts of over 30 countries.

In Australia, upon reaching 16 weeks at number one in November 2019, she broke the record for the most weeks at number one on the ARIA Singles Chart by any artist since the chart's inception in 1983. "Dance Monkey" also holds the record for most weeks at No. 1 in Australia in the modern rock era (1955–present) with 23 weeks.

Tones and I released her debut EP, The Kids Are Coming, on 30 August 2019.

Life and career

Toni Watson grew up in Mount Martha on the Mornington Peninsula. There is much speculation about her age, with year of birth believed by some to be 2000 and others 1993, the most likely. As of January 2020, no reliable source has assured either. She learned how to play keyboards and drum pads at Dromana Secondary College and later gathered experience performing local gigs and festivals.

In September 2017, Tones travelled to Byron Bay, New South Wales, to try busking for the first time. On her first night busking she met Jackson Walkden-Brown who soon after became her manager. Tones' busking success led her to quit her retail job in Melbourne, Australia, and fully commit to her new career.

Tones spent 2018 living between Walkden-Brown's home in the Gold Coast hinterland and out of her van in Byron Bay, writing music and busking full-time.

Later in 2018, Tones and I won Battle of the Buskers at Buskers by the Creek.

In February 2019, Tones signed a co-management deal with Artists Only and Lemon Tree Music.

On 15 February 2019, Tones and I uploaded her debut single "Johnny Run Away" to an Australian website that publishes the music of unsigned artists. The track was recorded with Australian producer and songwriter Konstantin Kersting. "Johnny Run Away" was added to full rotation on Australian alternative radio station triple j the following week and received positive reviews from staff and presenters such as Richard Kingsmill, Tommy Faith and Declan Byrne.

Two weeks later, on 1 March 2019, Tones and I officially released "Johnny Run Away". The song reached a peak of number 12 on the Australian music chart and number 83 in Ireland.

On 10 May 2019, Tones and I released her second single, "Dance Monkey". The song reached number one on the official music charts of over 30 countries, including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. In Australia in November of that year, she broke the record for the most weeks atop the ARIA Singles Chart by any artist, with 16 weeks. The record was previously held by Ed Sheeran's "Shape of You" (15 weeks in 2017). To date, "Dance Monkey" has spent 23 weeks at the No. 1 position in Australia.

In May 2019, she also performed at the Big Pineapple Music Festival, as well as opening Splendour in the Grass 2019 as the triple j Unearthed Splendour in the Grass competition winner, where she broke the record for the biggest crowd of an opening set at Splendour. In July 2019, Tones and I released "Never Seen the Rain" and announced the release of her debut extended play The Kids Are Coming. In September 2019, Tones and I performed "Dance Monkey" and "The Kids Are Coming" at the 2019 AFL Grand Final with 100,000 people in attendance.  

Discography

Extended Plays

Singles

Other Charted Songs

  • Jimmy (2019)

Awards and Nominations

ARIA Music Awards

The ARIA Music Awards is an annual awards ceremony that recognises excellence, innovation, and achievement across all genres of Australian music. For the 2019 awards, Tones and I was nominated for eight awards and won four.[67]

 
Year Nominee / work Award Result Ref.
2019 "Dance Monkey" Best Female Artist Won [68]
Breakthrough Artist Won
Best Pop Release Won
Song of the Year Nominated
Liam Kelly & Nick Kozakis for Tones and I – "Dance Monkey" Best Video Nominated
The Kids Are Coming Best Independent Release Won
Konstantin Kersting for Tones and I – "Dance Monkey" Engineer of the Year Nominated
Producer of the Year Nominated

References

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  2. Jump up to:a b "The story behind viral hit of the year 'Dance Monkey'"iSing. 29 November 2019. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  3. Jump up to:a b Bond, Nick (23 November 2019). "Mystery over breakout music star Tones and I's real age"news.com.au. Archived from the original on 23 November 2019. Retrieved 10 January 2020 – via National Library of Australia.
  4. Jump up to:a b c d e f g Byrne, Declan (21 February 2019). "Meet Tones and I, the busker with the bop that got Unearthed buzzing"Home and HosedTriple J (Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)). Archived from the original on 9 April 2019. Retrieved 18 January 2020.
  5. ^ "Tones And I Interview". Triple J Unearthed. 11 March 2019. Retrieved 21 January 2020. Note: user may have to click on "read interview" to access material
  6. ^ "Dance Monkey How Australian Busker Tones and I Scored a Global Hit"Official Charts. Retrieved 21 October 2019.
  7. Jump up to:a b Brandle, Lars (14 October 2019). "When Jackson met Tones"The Industry Observer. Retrieved 21 October 2019.
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External Links

Gallery

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