Tones And I’s ‘Dance Monkey’ is king of the jungle right now. But like all great “overnight” success stories, this was many months in the making.

Originally from the Mornington Peninsula and now based in Byron Bay, the rising star (whose real name is Toni Watson) this week completes an improbably high climb to the summit of the ARIA Singles Chart with ‘Dance Monkey,’ swinging 3 to 1 in its eighth week on the survey to become the first homegrown chart-topper this year.

Tones’ dynamic vocals and swagger is just what Australians need right now.

Tones And I, ‘Dance Monkey’:


Tones And I is “simply incredible”, says Regan Lethbridge, co-founder of Lemon Tree Music, the artist management company which also guides the careers of Tash Sultana, Pierce Brothers and others.

LTM has a co-management deal for Tones And I with Jackson Walken-Brown at Artist Only. Walkden-Brown discovered her busking, worked on a bunch of songs in the back-end and everything fell into place, recounts Lethbridge.

“I got sent a video of her busking in Byron Bay, tracked her down and harassed her, got a meeting and her and Jackson welcomed us into the family and spent a good few months setting that up,” explains Lethbridge.

“She’s just got an incredible voice and she’s an incredible live performer and came from that busking background. We knew she had the work ethic.”

Tones And I, ‘Johnny Run Away’:


Tones And I’s co-manager Jackson Walkden-Brown told TIO: