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Tones And I Has Opened Up About The Effect “Relentless Bullying” Has Had On Her

Written by Alex Gallagher on December 2, 2019

Content Warning: This article discusses bullying and mental health.

It’s been a big year for Tones And I. Rapidly finding fame with songs like ‘Dance Monkey’, the songwriter’s 2019 was capped off last week when she scored big at the ARIAs, picking up four awards on the evening.

Over the weekend, however, Tones has taken to social media to share a candid and open reflection on dealing with the “relentless bullying” that has followed her with success this year.

“I don’t want to take anything from my well deserved achievements and to my fans I love you unconditionally, but I have been hiding a big black hole for a while now, and feel if I hide it like most artists do then how are we going to help the next generations of young artist [sic] to come?,” wrote the singer on Instagram.

Acknowledging that she was prepared for judgement and opinion with success, Tones explained that the “relentless bullying” – including death threats – that has followed her with every proud moment “tears my mind in two.”

“I make music, I have chosen to follow my passion in life and stick to it until it stuck to me. I am a very open, honest, caring, good person, and in the dark times of death threats and very harsh judgements from strangers I have never met, I have decided to push past it and show any artist that you can get through it and maintain your sense of self.”

“I am Toni Watson, a female artist from Australia, I am going through the best and worst time of my life. And today I am OK. I love you and as always, we are in this together,” finished the artist.

In a country that suffers from a collective case of tall poppy syndrome, this may be a good opportunity to think about the way you talk about artists – particularly female artists – whose music is not for you.

No one’s telling you that you need to like any artist or another, nor that you need to hide that opinion; but when those comments become targeted and personal attacks, that’s no longer a purely critical reflection; particularly given the wealth of research that illustrates the kind of poor mental health outcomes that many in the music industry face.

There is no reason that a young Australian artist who is inarguably killing it both locally and internationally should be experiencing the kind of effects that Tones is describing.

Reflect on the kind of language you use to describe artists and try to remember that behind everything, they’re human people doing a job. Ultimately, just try and be kind.

If you or anyone you know needs help or information regarding mental health, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.

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People always say “tones how does it feel, it’s must feel great, what are you feeling, you must be over the moon” It does and I don’t want to take anything away from my well deserved achievements and to my fans I love you unconditionally but I have been hiding a big black hole for a while now and feel if I hide it like most artists do then how are we going to help the next generations of young artist to come.. truth is (and we have all seen it) with success comes judgement and opinions, this I was prepared for, it’s normal (which is sickening) but the relentless bullying that follows every proud moment tears my mind in two. I make music, I have chosen to follow my passion in life and stick to it until it stuck to me. I am a very open honest, caring, good person and in the dark times of death threats and very harsh judgements from strangers I have never met, I have decided to push past it and show any artist that you can get through it and maintain your sense of self, even though I don’t see an end in sight, this is how I will live my life now. I am Toni Watson, A female artist from Australia I am going through the best and worst time of my life. And today I am OK. I love you and as always.. we are in this together

A post shared by TONES AND I (@tonesandi) on

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