A new video, produced in collaboration with YouTube Music as part of their Artist on the Rise program, explores Tones And I‘s journey from busking in relative obscurity in Byron Bay to mammoth international success over the past year.
“It hasn’t really hit me yet what exactly is going on, I never thought this would ever happen to me. I didn’t grow up on TV or anything. I literally am off the street, clean off the street,” Tones says in the video.
“Being here is something that makes me so excited every day, but I rarely sit down and think about how I feel. There’s so much going on.”
Reflecting on her busking days, Tones talks about going from working 9-to-5 and barely scraping by to living out of her van in the coastal town, playing music full-time. She also discusses the writing of breakout single ‘Dance Monkey’, which she explains was written about her experiences of crowds while busking.
“I wrote ‘Dance Monkey’ about one night busking where everyone was shouting ‘Again, again, again,’ and I’d already done like, six encores. One drunk girl pushed over my equipment, one guy tried to steal my money, and I kind of just wrote a song about it. It was a sarcastic song that had the most common phrases I heard when I was busking.”
Tones also talks about seeing herself on a billboard in Times Square, meeting her idol Macklemore, and looks ahead to the future.
“Right now, it’s not over, and I still have things every day that I want to do, people I want to meet and dreams I want to achieve, even still. So right now, I’m just trying to be happy and be healthy, and laugh and love and inspire, and be inspired, and play shows, and really enjoy this crazy thing that my life has turned into.
Watch the full video below.