"Dance Monkey" by Tones and I is shimmying all the way up to No. 51 on the Billboard Hot 100 this week (dated Nov. 2) after spending three weeks on the chart. The Australian artist, whose real name is Toni Watson, erupts on the snappy alternative track, exposing how entertainers are treated like monkeys who are constantly being harassed to dance and perform more only to find satisfaction within themselves.
"I wrote this song about being a busker and realizing that you can definitely tell that people are so entertained now by the click of a button now or a swipe," Watson said in an interview with Australian radio station Triple J. "And when you’re playing live shows, I can see that, and I think there were a lot of times when I was busking where there were a lot of people in your face, like, 'More, more! Go again, again, again!'"
The singer-songwriter also told Apple Music about her manager's fear that "Dance Monkey wouldn't blow up the way it did. "People were trying to write songs to knock Lil Nas X off his perch; I didn't try to do that," she wrote on the preview page of her upcoming EP The Kids Are Coming. "I wrote this song before his song ['Old Town Road'] was even released. 'Dance Monkey’ showed me that I'm good enough. I have confidence in the songs that I've written and I'm not going to change anything.”