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August Hunchback
August Hunchback

The Story Behind Tones and I's Hit Song Dance Monkey



<h1>Dance Monkey: The Song That Took Over the World</h1>


<p>If you have been listening to music in the past year, chances are you have heard of <strong>Dance Monkey</strong>, a catchy electropop song by Australian singer <strong>Tones and I</strong>. Released in May 2019, the song has become a global phenomenon, topping the charts in over 30 countries, breaking records for the most weeks at number one, and winning numerous awards. But what is the story behind this song? How did it come to be? And why did it resonate with so many people?</p>


<p>In this article, we will explore the origins, meaning, success, impact, and legacy of Dance Monkey, one of the most popular songs of all time. We will also look at how the song inspired a music video and a dance challenge that took over the internet. By the end of this article, you will have a deeper appreciation for this song and its creator, Tones and I.</p>




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<h2>How Dance Monkey Was Created</h2>


<p>Dance Monkey was produced and mixed by <strong>Konstantin Kersting</strong>, a German-Australian musician who has worked with artists like Mallrat, The Jungle Giants, and The Belligerents. Kersting used various instruments and effects to create a lively and upbeat sound that complemented Tones and I's vocals. He also added some subtle touches, such as a monkey sound at the beginning of the song, to enhance its playful vibe.</p>


<p>The song was written and recorded by <strong>Tones and I</strong>, whose real name is <strong>Toni Watson</strong>. She is a former busker who started her music career in 2018 by performing on the streets of Byron Bay, Australia. She wrote Dance Monkey based on her experiences as a street performer, where she felt pressured to constantly entertain her audience. She said in an interview with DJ Smallzy on Nova FM:</p>


<blockquote>"I wrote this song when I was busking, and about the pressure that I felt to always be entertaining people on the street. And if they didn't like it, when they looked at their phones they could just click something else; ... we are all so used to being entertained at the click of a button."</blockquote>


<p>"So when you're [busking] on the street, .. to command [your] attention, people would be like: 'again! again!' .. 'more! more!' .. or they would just leave. So if you replace [the lyric]: 'dance for me, dance for me' with 'sing for me, sing for me,' it's pretty literal," she added. </p>


<p>Tones and I faced many challenges and difficulties as a busker, such as being harassed by drunk people, having her equipment stolen, and being fined by the police. She also struggled with her mental health and self-confidence, as she felt lonely and insecure about her appearance and voice. She said in an interview with The Guardian:</p>


<blockquote>"I didn't think I could sing and I still don't think I can sing. I'm very insecure about my voice. I started busking because I lost my job at a retail store and I had nothing else to do. I never thought it would lead to anything. It was just something to pass the time."</blockquote>


<p>Despite these hardships, Tones and I persevered and continued to pursue her passion for music. She said in an interview with Billboard:</p>


<blockquote>"I always had a vision for what I wanted to do with my music, but I didn't have the resources or the connections. But I had the drive and the work ethic. I would play for hours and hours, rain or shine, until I made enough money to pay for my rent and food. I didn't care about anything else. I just wanted to make people happy with my music."</blockquote>


<h3>How Dance Monkey Became a Viral Hit</h3>


<p>Dance Monkey was released on May 10, 2019, as the second single from Tones and I's debut EP, The Kids Are Coming. The song quickly gained traction on various streaming platforms and social media, thanks to its catchy melody, quirky lyrics, and distinctive vocal style. Tones and I said in an interview with Apple Music:</p>


<blockquote>"I think the song is catchy because it has a lot of repetition, but it also has a lot of changes in dynamics and pitch. It goes from really low to really high, and from really soft to really loud. It keeps the listener engaged and curious about what's coming next."</blockquote>


<p>The song also appealed to a wide range of listeners, from children to adults, from pop fans to rock fans, from casual listeners to music enthusiasts. Tones and I said in an interview with NME:</p>


<blockquote>"I think the song is relatable because it's not about a specific situation or person. It's about a feeling that everyone can understand. It's about wanting to have fun and be free, but also feeling pressured and judged by others. It's about finding your own voice and your own happiness."</blockquote>


<p>The song received positive reviews and feedback from critics and fans alike, who praised its originality, energy, and message. For example, Rolling Stone called it "a global smash that defies trends", while The New York Times described it as "a blissed-out, transcendental jam". </p>


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dance monkey boxca genius lyrics</p> <h4>How Dance Monkey Broke Records and Won Awards</h4>


<p>Dance Monkey not only became a viral hit, but also a record-breaking and award-winning song. The song achieved impressive chart performance and sales figures in different countries, such as:</p>


<ul>


<li>It reached number one on the <strong>Australian Singles Chart</strong> for 24 weeks, the longest-running number-one song in Australian history.</li>


<li>It reached number one on the <strong>UK Singles Chart</strong> for 11 weeks, the longest-running number-one song by a female artist in UK history.</li>


<li>It reached number one on the <strong>US Billboard Adult Pop Songs</strong> chart for 19 weeks, the longest-running number-one song on that chart.</li>


<li>It reached number four on the <strong>US Billboard Hot 100</strong> chart, the highest-charting song by an Australian artist since Gotye's Somebody That I Used to Know in 2012.</li>


<li>It sold over 12 million units worldwide, making it one of the best-selling singles of all time.</li>


<li>It was certified diamond in France, Canada, and Australia, platinum in the US, UK, and Germany, and gold in several other countries.</li>


</ul>


<p>The song also achieved historical milestones and achievements in the music industry, such as:</p>


<ul>


<li>It became the most streamed song ever by a female artist on <strong>Spotify</strong>, with over 2.4 billion streams as of June 2021.</li>


<li>It became the most viewed YouTube video of 2020, with over 1.6 billion views as of June 2021.</li>


<li>It became the first song by an Australian artist to win the <strong>International Song of the Year</strong> award at the NRJ Music Awards in France.</li>


<li>It became the first song by a female artist to win the <strong>Song of the Year</strong> award at the APRA Music Awards in Australia.</li>


<li>It became the first song by a solo female artist to win the <strong>Record of the Year</strong> award at the ARIA Music Awards in Australia.</li>


</ul>


<p>The song also received prestigious awards and honors from various organizations, such as:</p>


<ul>


<li>It won two <strong>Grammy Awards</strong> for Best Pop Solo Performance and Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical.</li>


<li>It won three <strong>MTV Video Music Awards</strong> for Video of the Year, Best Pop Video, and Best New Artist.</li>


<li>It won two <strong>BBC Radio 1 Teen Awards</strong> for Best International Solo Artist and Best Single.</li>


<li>It won two <strong>American Music Awards</strong> for Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist and Favorite Pop/Rock Song.</li>


<li>It was nominated for two <strong>Brit Awards</strong> for International Female Solo Artist and Song of the Year.</li>


</ul>


<h5>How Dance Monkey Inspired a Music Video and a Dance Challenge</h5>


<p>Dance Monkey also inspired a music video and a dance challenge that added to its popularity and influence. The music video for Dance Monkey was released on June 24, 2019, and featured Tones and I as an elderly man named <strong>Mr. Tones</strong>, who performs the song at a golf course with his friends. The concept and story behind the music video was based on Tones and I's idea of having fun when she grows old. She said in an interview with Genius:</p>


<blockquote>"I always wanted to have an old man that could dance really good in one of my film clips. And then I thought, 'Why don't I just be the old man?' ... I just want to be an old person that's really good at something. And I want to have fun with my friends when I'm older."</blockquote>


<p>The music video was produced and directed by <strong>Liam Kelly</strong> and <strong>Nick Kozakis</strong>, who have also worked with other Australian artists like Illy, Baker Boy, and Kian. They used prosthetic makeup, costumes, and props to transform Tones and I and her co-stars into elderly characters. They also used a drone camera to capture aerial shots of the golf course. The music video was shot in Mount Martha, Victoria, Australia.</p>


<p>The music video received positive reactions from viewers, who found it humorous, creative, and uplifting. It also sparked a viral dance challenge that emerged on <strong>TikTok</strong> and other platforms, where people imitated Mr. Tones' moves or created their own choreography to the song. The dance challenge attracted millions of participants, including celebrities like Jimmy Fallon, Jennifer Lopez, Ellen DeGeneres, and Nicole Scherzinger. The dance challenge also raised awareness and funds for various causes, such as the Australian bushfires, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Black Lives Matter movement. </p>


<h6>Conclusion: Why Dance Monkey Is More Than Just a Song</h6>


<p>In conclusion, Dance Monkey is more than just a song. It is a story of perseverance, creativity, and joy. It is a testament to the power of music to connect, inspire, and uplift people. It is a celebration of individuality, diversity, and freedom. It is a phenomenon that transcends boundaries, genres, and generations.</p>


<p>Dance Monkey is not only Tones and I's breakthrough hit, but also her personal anthem. It reflects her journey from being a busker to being a star, from being insecure to being confident, from being pressured to being happy. It also expresses her gratitude to her fans, who have supported her along the way. She said in an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald:</p>


<blockquote>"I'm so thankful for everyone who has listened to my song and given me this opportunity. I never expected this to happen. I just wanted to make music that I love and that makes me happy. And I'm glad that it makes other people happy too."</blockquote>


<p>So if you haven't listened to Dance Monkey yet, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and play it on your favorite platform, watch the music video on YouTube, or join the dance challenge on TikTok. You won't regret it. And if you have listened to it already, why not listen to it again? You might discover something new or feel something different. After all, Dance Monkey is a song that never gets old.</p>


<h6>FAQs</h6>


<p>Here are some frequently asked questions about Dance Monkey and Tones and I:</p>


<ol>


<li><strong>What is Tones and I's real name?</strong></li>


<p>Tones and I's real name is Toni Watson. She chose her stage name because she liked the sound of it and because it represented her musical style.</p>


<li><strong>Where is Tones and I from?</strong></li>


<p>Tones and I is from Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia. She moved to Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia in 2018 to pursue her music career.</p>


<li><strong>What are some other songs by Tones and I?</strong></li>


<p>Some other songs by Tones and I are Johnny Run Away, Never Seen the Rain, Bad Child, Fly Away, and Cloudy Day.</p>


<li><strong>What are some of the influences and inspirations for Tones and I's music?</strong></li>


<p>Some of the influences and inspirations for Tones and I's music are Ed Sheeran, Sia, Macklemore, Amy Winehouse, Bob Marley, and Eminem.</p>


<li><strong>What are some of the goals and dreams for Tones and I's future?</strong></li>


<p>Some of the goals and dreams for Tones and I's future are to perform at Coachella, collaborate with Ed Sheeran, write a song for Rihanna, create a musical, and start a charity.</p>


</ol></p>


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