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Inside Tones And I’s Relationship with Macklemore

“One of my best friends in this industry,” is how Tones and I describes Macklemore

Tones and I on Rolling Stone Behind the Cover Podcast

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Family is incredibly important to Tones and I. From her ‘stage family’ that she surrounds herself with on tour to her relatives back in Melbourne, she’s very careful with who she spends time with. 

“If you follow me in any capacity you’ll know how close I am with my onstage and offstage family. That’s important for me as a human, to maintain relationships closely. If we don’t have it, you’re gone. But no one’s left yet!” Toni Watson, Tones and I, laughs.

The importance she places on relationships and the connection she builds with the people she works with are nowhere more prevalent than in her relationship with Macklemore, otherwise known as Ben Haggerty. Watson and Haggerty have toured together five times, soon to be six when he arrives here next month. 

“Gosh, I love him so much. I don’t know whether you should meet your idols or not, because I have been given the best example of one,” Martin tells Rolling Stone AU/NZ Editor-in-Chief Poppy Reid in the latest episode of ‘Behind The Rolling Stone Cover’, sponsored by Shure.

Both Martin and Haggerty have spoken before about how important they are to each other, and in 2022 they collaborated on the song “Chant”. Last year, they travelled around Europe together. 

“Ben let me bring my whole crew and he has his whole crew. I come along, I sing with Ben, I do the hooks and he does the verses, so I’m really close with Ben’s family too because they’re very similar to mine. They’re just the best.

“So we’re all together on tour, my girls are with Macklemore’s girls, they’re getting ready together, the boys are all getting ready together. It was like a love affair. We’d be walking around Vienna together.”

At the time, Haggerty was going through some tough personal times, something Watson could relate to having lost two friends while she was trying to continue with a tour.

“I didn’t know if I was going to be able to go on stage and perform. It was the second night of the tour, I was on stage, doing soundcheck and I started crying. Then my choir walked out in front of me and started singing to me. And I decided, ok, I’ll get through this one show. And I leaned on them,” she recalled.

When a similar thing happened to Haggerty during his tour, and he was unsure if he’d be able to go on, Watson urged him to lean on the family he had around him.

“By the end of that tour, which was two, three weeks later, he couldn’t believe it. He said it was the best tour he’d ever been on in his life. He felt so much love, he really needed that, and he got through. 

“The same loss I had, these same people made me feel so happy and grateful for the people in my life that are not only there for me, but they walk that walk every day, whether they’re with me on tour or not. Then they did that for one of, well, my biggest idol and one of my best friends in this industry. And for him to be so open and allow them to help him heal, that’s really special.”

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