Dance Monkey: The Viral Hit That Took the World by Storm

Dance Monkey
Dance Monkey

Dance Monkey is a song by Australian singer Tones and I, released in May 2019 as the second single from her debut EP, The Kids Are Coming. The song became an instant hit and topped the charts in several countries, including Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. It also broke records for the most weeks spent at number one on the ARIA Singles Chart by an Australian artist.

The song’s success can be attributed to its catchy melody and relatable lyrics. It tells the story of a street performer who is tired of people asking her to dance for them and just wants to be left alone. The song’s message of individuality and self-expression resonated with audiences worldwide, and it quickly became a viral sensation.

Dance Monkey
Dance Monkey

Despite its commercial success, Dance Monkey also received criticism for its repetitive nature and lack of depth. Some critics accused the song of being a one-hit wonder and questioned whether Tones and I would be able to replicate its success with future releases. However, the song’s impact on the music industry cannot be denied, and it has cemented its place in pop culture history.

Key Takeaways

  • Dance Monkey is a hit song by Tones and I that topped charts worldwide and broke records for the most weeks spent at number one on the ARIA Singles Chart by an Australian artist.
  • The song’s success can be attributed to its catchy melody and relatable lyrics that promote individuality and self-expression.
  • Despite receiving criticism for its repetitive nature, Dance Monkey has made a significant impact on the music industry and has become a viral sensation.

Origins of Dance Monkey

Artist Behind the Song

“Dance Monkey” is a song by Australian singer-songwriter Toni Watson, better known as Tones and I. She was born on August 15, 2000, in Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia. Tones and I began her music career as a busker in Byron Bay, Australia, in 2018. She wrote “Dance Monkey” in just a few hours while she was busking. The song was officially released on May 10, 2019.

Inspirations and Influences

Tones and I was inspired to write “Dance Monkey” after she had a conversation with a man who had been busking and performing on the streets for 30 years. She said that he told her about his experiences and how he had to keep performing even when he was exhausted and didn’t want to. Tones and I said that she could relate to his story and that it inspired her to write the song.

The song’s lyrics talk about the pressure that musicians face to perform and entertain their audience. Tones and I said that she wrote the song to express her own feelings about the music industry and how difficult it can be to succeed as a musician. The song’s title “Dance Monkey” is a metaphor for how musicians are often expected to perform and entertain their audience, even when they don’t want to.

Overall, “Dance Monkey” has become a global hit, reaching number one in over 38 countries and breaking records for the most weeks at number one on the Australian singles chart. The song’s success can be attributed to Tones and I’s unique voice and style, as well as the song’s catchy melody and relatable lyrics.

Musical Composition

Lyrics and Themes

“Dance Monkey” is a song by Australian singer Tones and I. The lyrics of the song describe the experience of a street performer who is constantly asked to perform by passersby. The song’s protagonist feels trapped by the pressure to perform and yearns for a sense of freedom. The lyrics use a lot of metaphors to convey this sense of entrapment and longing. For example, the line “I never see the ceiling in my bedroom” is a metaphor for the protagonist’s inability to escape her situation.

Instrumentation

The instrumentation of “Dance Monkey” is relatively simple, with a focus on electronic beats and a prominent use of the keyboard. The song’s main melody is played on a synthesizer, with additional keyboard parts used to create a sense of depth and texture. The percussion is primarily electronic, with a strong emphasis on the kick drum and snare. The song also features a distinctive saxophone riff that is used throughout the song. Overall, the instrumentation of “Dance Monkey” is designed to be catchy and upbeat, with a strong emphasis on rhythm and melody.

Commercial Success

Chart Performance

“Dance Monkey” by Tones and I was an international hit and topped the charts in more than 30 countries. The song was initially released in Australia in May 2019, and it took several months to gain traction. By November 2019, “Dance Monkey” had become the most Shazamed song in the world, and it was subsequently released globally.

The song debuted at number 96 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart in October 2019 and climbed to number 11 by January 2020. It peaked at number four on the chart in March 2020, making Tones and I the first Australian artist to reach the top five since Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” in 2014. “Dance Monkey” also topped the charts in the UK, where it spent 11 weeks at number one.

Sales and Certifications

As of November 2021, “Dance Monkey” has sold over 25 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling singles of all time. The song has been certified Diamond in France, Italy, Poland, and the UK, and it has received multi-platinum certifications in several other countries, including Australia, Canada, Germany, and the US.

In addition to its commercial success, “Dance Monkey” has also received critical acclaim. The song won the ARIA Award for Song of the Year in 2019 and was nominated for several other awards, including Record of the Year at the 2020 Grammy Awards.

Overall, “Dance Monkey” was a massive commercial success, and it cemented Tones and I’s place as one of the most exciting new artists in the music industry.

Impact and Legacy

Influence on Pop Culture

“Dance Monkey” has had a significant impact on pop culture since its release in 2019. The song’s catchy melody and lyrics have been featured in numerous commercials, movies, and TV shows, making it a cultural phenomenon. The song’s music video has also garnered over 1.5 billion views on YouTube, making it one of the most-watched videos on the platform.

The song’s success has also led to a surge in popularity for Tones and I, who has become one of the most recognizable names in the music industry. In addition, “Dance Monkey” has inspired countless covers and remixes, showcasing the song’s versatility and appeal across different genres.

Awards and Recognitions

“Dance Monkey” has received numerous awards and nominations since its release. In 2019, the song won the ARIA Award for “Song of the Year” and “Breakthrough Artist.” The song also received nominations for “Best Pop Release” and “Best Female Artist.”

In addition, “Dance Monkey” has been recognized internationally, winning the International Songwriting Competition’s Grand Prize in 2020. The song has also been nominated for several international awards, including the MTV Europe Music Award for “Best Australian Act” and the NRJ Music Award for “International Song of the Year.”

Overall, “Dance Monkey” has left a lasting impact on the music industry and pop culture, cementing Tones and I’s place as a rising star in the industry.

Criticism and Controversy

The song “Dance Monkey” by Tones and I has faced criticism and controversy since its release. One of the main criticisms is that the song perpetuates harmful stereotypes about people with disabilities. The lyrics of the song include the line “I never see anybody do the things you do before,” which some have interpreted as referring to a person with a disability who is dancing in an unusual way. This interpretation has led to accusations that the song is ableist.

In response to the criticism, Tones and I has stated that the song is not about disability, but rather about the pressure she felt to perform as a busker. She has also stated that she never intended to offend anyone with the song.

Another controversy surrounding “Dance Monkey” is the accusation that the song is racist. Some have claimed that the song’s success is due in part to the fact that Tones and I uses a “black” voice. However, others have defended Tones and I, stating that her voice is simply unique and that accusations of racism are unfounded.

Despite the controversy, “Dance Monkey” has remained a popular song. It has topped the charts in multiple countries and has been streamed billions of times on platforms such as Spotify and YouTube.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the lyrics to Dance Monkey?

The lyrics to Dance Monkey, written and performed by Australian singer Tones and I, tell the story of a street performer who feels like a monkey dancing for attention. The song’s catchy chorus features the repeated line “dance for me, dance for me, dance for me, oh-oh-oh.” You can find the full lyrics to Dance Monkey here.

Who is the singer of Dance Monkey?

Dance Monkey is performed by Tones and I, a stage name for Toni Watson, an Australian singer-songwriter. Tones and I started her music career as a busker in Byron Bay, Australia and her debut single Johnny Run Away was released in 2019.

Dance Monkey was released on May 10, 2019, and became a viral sensation on social media platforms such as TikTok, quickly gaining popularity worldwide. The song was also heavily promoted on streaming services and radio stations. In November 2019, the song broke the record for the most weeks at number one on the ARIA Singles Chart by an Australian artist, surpassing Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You.

Dance Monkey has been remixed by several artists, including the Dutch DJ and producer Tiësto, who released a remix in October 2019. The remix has been streamed over 100 million times on Spotify. The song has also been remixed by artists such as Dario Rodriguez, DJ Rankin, and DJ NIKI.

What is the meaning behind the song Dance Monkey?

The meaning behind Dance Monkey is open to interpretation, but Tones and I has said that the song was inspired by her experience as a busker. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Tones and I said that the song is about “the pressure to perform and people expecting you to be someone you’re not.”

What are some notable covers of Dance Monkey?

Dance Monkey has been covered by several artists, including the American singer-songwriter Billie Eilish, who performed a cover of the song during her set at the Austin City Limits Music Festival in October 2019. The song has also been covered by artists such as the German singer-songwriter Lena Meyer-Landrut and the British band The Vamps.