Advert

Footage Emerges Of Tones And I Singing 'Dance Monkey' As A Busker Before She Was Famous

Published 
| Last updated 

Footage Emerges Of Tones And I Singing 'Dance Monkey' As A Busker Before She Was Famous

Footage has emerged of Australian singing sensation Tones and I busting out her most famous song well before it hit the airwaves.

Tones and I had a massive 2019, with the singer releasing 'Dance Monkey', which ended up being certified 10 times platinum in Australia, dropping her EP, performing in front of thousands of people at several music festivals, and coming fourth in Triple J's Hottest 100 song contest.

But before all that, she was busking on the streets of Byron Bay and selling CDs for $10.

Advert

It's a popular story that many people tell when one of her songs comes on the speakers, however one person has actually captured this on film.

TikTok user @ianzogby recently uploaded a video to the platform from January last year, four months before 'Dance Monkey' was officially released.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

The footage shows a crowd of people gathering around the young singer as she belts out the track with just a microphone and a keyboard.

Advert

It just goes to show you how much can change in a couple of months and some serious hard grafting.

Jackson Walkden-Brown is Tones and I's manager and remembers seeing her on the streets of Byron Bay busking with her unique voice.

When she did a rendition of Outkast's 'Hey Ya', Walkden-Brown says he was hooked.

Speaking to The Industry Observer: "When I heard that, my jaw just dropped.

Advert

"I heard the beautiful things about her voice, she did that top-end growl, which she refers to as a 'bark'. She had just the beautiful tone, I was immediately drawn to it."

Incredibly, that was the first night Tones and I, real name Toni Watson, started busking in Byron after driving up from Melbourne to give her artistry another shot.

Toni moved in with Jackson and he encouraged her to start busking in other spots like the Gold Coast and Brisbane.

Advert

But Jackson recalls Byron Bay being the only place where Tones and I could really draw a crowd, with her sets attracting around 150 people.

Tones and I wins Best Pop at The Global Awards 2020. Credit: PA
Tones and I wins Best Pop at The Global Awards 2020. Credit: PA

"Byron has an energy about it, it really worked for her," he said. "Everyone is in such a good mood in Byron. Everyone is so chilled. The crowds were just phenomenal."

Tones and I was eventually set up with three managers, who had worked with street buskers like Tash Sultana and could make their career blast off. The first single recorded was 'Johnny Run Away'.

Advert

That started getting some plays on Triple J's Unearthed and then the monster that is 'Dance Monkey' was released to the world.

The song now has the record for the most weeks at number one in Australia's ARIA chart history, beating Ed Sheeran's 'Shape of You', with 16 weeks. It also holds the record for the longest time at number one across Australian singles charts, with 24 weeks.

At last year's ARIA Music Awards, she won four gongs from eight nominations, the most of any Aussie artist on the night.

Featured Image Credit: ianzogby/TikTok

Topics: Entertainment, Music, Australia

Stewart Perrie
More like this
Advert
Advert
Advert

Chosen for YouChosen for You

News

Brighton Cat Killer Who Murdered At Least 9 Cats Dies In Jail

8 hours ago

Most Read StoriesMost Read

News

Woman's Pet Cat Is So Big People Mistake Him For A Dog

9 hours ago