Tones and I – Dance Monkey (Lyrics Review and Song Meaning)

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Tones and I rose to fame with their latest single “Dance Monkey” released in May 2019. The song, accompanied by a crazy music video, managed to reach number one in Australia, Germany, New Zealand, UK – Uni and more. This is a huge accomplishment considering that “Dance Monkey” is only her second single of her career.

“Dance Monkey” is the second single from Australian singer and songwriter Toni Watson, better known by her stage name Tones and I. It is the follow-up single to her first single “Johnny Run Away” released in March 2019, her debut EP ‘The Kids Are Coming’ released on August 30, 2019.

Tones and I discussed the song in an interview with TripleJUnearthed; “I wrote this song about being a busker and realizing that you can definitely tell people are so entertained now with the click of a button now or with one swipe. And when you do concerts, I can see that, and I think there were a lot of times I was doing the streets where there were a lot of people in your face, like, “More, more! Go again, again, again! … There were times when it was really obvious that people were so used to being able to sweep and see something different for fun that the patience wore off. Quick changes were kind of what you have to do on the street now. You have to be really quick, you can’t talk so much, tell your story and continue the song.

Watch the music video below.


Download the single “Dance Monkey” on iTunes and Amazon

As explained by the artist, the song is about the expectations placed on artists by producers and the music industry in general. In lyrics, Toni sings about how the industry requires artists to keep releasing big hits in order to make a profit – “And I’ll make you do it all again.”

A dancing monkey is symbolism to be mindlessly controlled by an upper part. As such, producers, labels, and the industry have an invisible hold over artists to keep performing. Tones and I sneak in some of the flamboyant words used by the industry to motivate artists to stretch more and more; “Oh my god I see the way you shine”, “you make me wanna cry”, “I’ve never seen anyone do the things you do before”, etc.

It’s quite ironic that a song about how artists are exploited to keep making big hits has become Tones and I’s biggest hit to date.

Tones and I also announced the next dates for the ‘The Kinds Are Coming’ tour from February to March 2020.

Check out the full lyrics to Tones and I’s “Dance Monkey” below.


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