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Tones And I Has Mixed Feeling About ‘Dance Monkey’: ‘I Loathe That Song a Lot of the Time’

Tones And I’sDance Monkey” has been streamed more than 7 billion times. Its creator would quite happily never hear it again.

Tones (real name Toni Watson) is the proud owner of one of the streaming era’s biggest hits, a song that broke records in the U.K. and Australia, and is now ranked No. 3 on Spotify’s all-time list of most-played songs.

Like so many artists, Tones is always looking ahead, never behind. Speaking on Australia’s Nova network, Tones recounted a recent songwriting workshop in Los Angeles, where a string of potential collaborators took their joint-creations in the direction of her famous number.

“I was like, ‘I don’t want to go there anymore,’” she told Nova’s Smallzy. “That was great good for me. Like I wrote that song on my own not trying to do a single thing and it happened but I don’t want to like just try to chase like that song like I loathe that song a lot of the time. Like a lot of time, I don’t want to sing it. I’m not gonna write another song like it, I just want to tell people how I’m feeling.”

“Dance Monkey” turned Tones into an international star. Released in May 2019, the song went to No. 1 on the Official U.K. Singles Chart for 11 weeks, a record for a solo female artist, and ruled the ARIA Singles Chart for an unprecedented 24 weeks.

All told, the single led sales charts in roughly 30 countries. With “Dance Monkey,” Tones holds the distinction of penning the first top five Billboard Hot 100 hit solely written by a woman in over eight years, and it’s earned six-times platinum certification from the RIAA in the United States.

That was then. Last week, the one-time busker dropped the new single “Eyes Don’t Lie,” the music video for which was directed by Tones, Nick Kozakis, and Liam Kelly, the team behind the “Dance Monkey” clip, which has passed 1.8 billion plays on YouTube.

“Eyes Don’t Lie” is the “first co-write I’ve ever done,” she told Smallzy. “So in terms of like production and stuff. I’ve never worked in the room with anyone else. This is the first time I had someone else like helping me write the production of the song.”

“Eyes Don’t Lie” finds the Australian artist letting go of a toxic relationship and pushing forward through the debris. It marks the first new music from Tones since the release of her debut album Welcome To The Madhouse, which arrived in July 2021 and immediately hit No. 1 on Australia’s national chart. 

She’ll road test the new song and others when she embarks on an international run from mid-May, with a North American headline tour kicks off July 23 at Union Transfer in Philadelphia, PA.