Tones And I teases free “anti-bullying” high school tour

During the day, while she plays regular shows at night

Tones And I has teased a special “anti-bullying” tour, where she will play select high schools for free to advocate against bullying.

The Melbourne busker-turned-pop star Toni Watson, whose international hit song ‘Dance Monkey’ recently became the fastest Australian song to hit a billion streams, gave a sneak preview of the “whole big anti-bullying tour” while on the air with Nova 919’s Ben & Liam earlier today (February 10).

The tour, which Tones says will be officially announced next week, will include a slate of “normal tour shows” at night, but also free performances at select high schools in the day with friends and fellow musicians like Adrian Eagle and Jakubi. The intent of the school shows is “to create something that the kids get to have”, Tones said, “because all my shows are always overage”.

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Though Tones and her team are currently working out the logistics of the tour, she said they envision selecting schools based on essays submitted by Year 12 students, which Tones will personally read.

The high schools will be ones “that are working towards a better quality of socialism in a school,” she said, and those essays will be “about how their school has worked towards anti-bullying, and to teach people it’s not okay and to open up”.

Hear Tones discuss the tour with Ben & Liam here:

In November, Tones opened up in a Facebook post about the cyberbullying and death threats she’s endured since ‘Dance Monkey’ propelled her to fame over the course of 2019.

She wrote, “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.”

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Fellow Aussie musician Amy Shark reached out to Tones to offer advice on dealing with fame and online hate. “I’ve been telling Toni it takes a while to not care,” she said. “To work out that backlash means you’re actually just getting more successful.”

In conversation with Ben & Liam, Tones revealed that she was feeling more empowered: “I was so, so upset around ARIA [Awards] time. Even like five months ago, if you’d ask me, the smallest thing could have tipped me because I wasn’t used to it. Now I’m feeling empowered, because I know that I’m a good person, I haven’t done anything wrong. And I feel great. I’m not Donald Trump, you know? I generally feel like I’m an okay person.”

Tones also teased the release of new music this month: “I think there will be a song in the next two weeks and then randomly another song the week after.”

Last month, Tones And I was named Best New Australian Act in the new, Australia-only categories in the NME Awards 2020.

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