2019 already served as a massive year for Aussie artist Tones And I, but the accolades have continued, with the musician serving as the latest addition to APRA AMCOS’ The 1,000,000,000 List.
The list, which launched in July of 2019, takes into account streaming numbers from all major services including Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, Vevo, Amazon, and Google Play, and serves as a way to recognise the massive success that Australian artists have had with their music.
While artists such as Nat Dunn, Dean Lewis, Troye Sivan and Alex Hope, Flume, and Cookin’ on 3 Burners have all achieved the impressive honour, it would surprise almost no one to see Toni Watson (aka Tones And I) serve as the latest addition to the list.
Recognised for her groundbreaking single “Dance Monkey“, the track has taken on a life of its own across the last year. Since it was released back in May, the song has become a runaway success, spending 24 weeks atop the ARIA singles chart (breaking records set by Ed Sheeran, Justice Crew, and Bing Crosby), reaching #1 on charts all around the globe, and achieving more than 600 million views on YouTube.
Most impressively though, Friday saw the track become the latest song to reach a billion streams while serving as the fastest to do so.
Written solely by Watson and produced by Konstantin Kersting, the tune was composed as a means to grab the attention of passers-by during the hours spent busking in Byron Bay.
“It was only when I wasn’t trying at all that it happened, and I wrote this song in about a half an hour,” Watson explained in a speech to APRA AMCOS staff, her co-managers Lemon Tree Music and Artists Only, and her publisher Kobalt Music Group.
“The reason for this award is to signal the importance of the songwriter, who is sometimes behind-the-scenes,” added APRA AMCOS Chief Executive Dean Ormston. “Tones’ talent is incredible: she’s the artist and the person behind-the-scenes with a song she wrote one hundred percent herself. Her career is just beginning.”
“We are experiencing something very special here with Tones And I and I would like to thank Tones, Regan, Jackson and David for trusting Kobalt as their publishing partner for Australia and New Zealand,” added Kobalt Music Group APAC Managing Director Simon Moor.
“One billion streams is an incredible milestone to stop and reflect on, but it won’t be too long before ‘Dance Monkey’ reaches two billion, and there are many more great songs to follow from this truly unique and talented artist and songwriter.”
Tones And I is currently touring Australia as part of the Laneway Festival lineup. However, her Sydney visit was interrupted by another accolade, with YouTube surprising the artist to celebrate her achievement of becoming the 10th Australian artist to reach one million subscribers on the platform.