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Tones And I Signs With Kobalt For Neighboring Rights

Tones And I
Courtesy of Elektra Records

Tones And I

Australian busker-turned-global star Tones And I has signed an international neighboring rights deal with Kobalt. Tones (real name Toni Watson) is the singer and songwriter behind the hit “Dance Monkey,” which blew its way to No. 1 in 30 territories and smashes chart records in the U.K. and her native Australia.   

Through the arrangement with Kobalt Neighbouring Rights, the independent music company will offer the breakthrough artist a range of global administration and royalty maximization services.  

“I am so very pleased that Tones and her team have partnered with us for the collection of neighboring rights,” comments Ann Tausis, CEO, Kobalt Neighbouring Rights. 

“More and more global artists are becoming aware of this important revenue stream that has lots of rules and exceptions affecting who gets paid and where. It’s complex. Tones and I is the latest global star to recognize this area and our years of expertise will ensure she receives the income due to her across the globe.”

Those income streams aren’t insignificant. Tones’ “Dance Monkey” has exploded to 2 billion-plus stream since its release last May, and its music video has clocked up more than 717 million views. Written solely by Tones and recorded with Brisbane producer Konstantin Kersting, the track has become the most “Shazamed” song of all time, and the longest-running No. 1 song on the Spotify global charts. 

In the U.K., the song ruled the Official Singles Chart for 11 weeks, a record for a solo female artist, and in her homeland, it ruled the ARIA Singles Chart for an incredible 24 weeks, easily an all-time record. She went on to scoop four ARIA Awards. On the Billboard Hot 100 this week, “Dance Monkey” rises 5-4, a new peak in its 20th cycle on the tally. Last month, Tones hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Songwriters chart for the first time.  

Speaking on the new pact, Regan Lethbridge, David Morgan (both Lemon Tree Music) and Jackson Walkden-Brown (Artists Only), co-managers of Tones And I, say: “We’re absolutely pumped to be working with Kobalt on the neighbouring rights front. Our detailed discussions leading up to doing this deal really reinforced for us that they’re the best in the business when it comes to this relatively complex and evolving income stream. They’re exceptionally passionate about Tones and we’re very confident that this will be a long and fruitful relationship." 

Tones has just completed the sold-out North America leg of her world tour, in support of debut EP The Kids Are Coming. U.K. and Europe dates kick off Friday (Feb. 28) with a show at O2 Kentish Town in North London, with international dates booked solid through August. In recent days, Tones appeared on Ellen and Today, following on from guest spots last year on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon and The Voice

Sources tell Billboard new Tones music is coming “very soon.” Kobalt Neighbouring Rights represents more than 2,000 artists, including A$AP Rocky, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Chainsmokers, Dua Lipa and Tame Impala.


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