Tones and I has opened up about feeling an "overwhelming sadness" after she cleaned up at the ARIA Awards in November last year, confessing she hadn't felt one day of happiness since.

The Australian singer, who is the most streamed female artist on Spotify with her electrifying hit Dance Monkey, told The Hit Network's Carrie & Tommy on Wednesday she fell into a dark place as she struck fame.

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The 26-year-old, whose real name is Toni Watson, won four awards at her first-ever ARIAs last year.


"There was a point when we were coming up to the ARIAs last year, I'd had huge success, and the next day I woke up and had this overwhelming sadness and not wanting to celebrate it," she said.

"Not wanting to celebrate with my fans or on social media … As I thought it was a black hole of people that just wanted to bring you down.

"It took me a little bit after that to realise there's so much good there and to focus on the live performances.

People always say “tones how does it feel, it’s must feel great, what are you feeling, you must be over the moon” It...

Posted by Tones And I on Thursday, 28 November 2019

"I was like, 'Why am I not happy, this is meant to be exciting'.

"I had to switch my mind over and focus on those good things, because there are so many good things."

In another interview with Bickmore that aired on Wednesday night's episode of The Project, Tones further elaborated on her post-ARIAs slump.

"Six months after the ARIAs, I said to myself, I don't think I've been happy one day since all this stuff has happened."

She also opened up about why her new single Bad Child (sample lyric: "Guess I'm always gonna be the bad child / 'Cause you will never understand my weird mind") is her most personal yet - but stopped short of explaining why.


"When I released that song, I never wanted to talk about that it was about me. But I decided to, because I didn't want to hide that. If I choose to release this music about me, I have to open up and tell people and not lie to my fans. It's definitely something I thought I'd never write about or talk about, but here we are," she said.

Bickmore asked Tones what made her the 'bad child' of the song's title, which prompted a mysterious response from the singer.

"That's a bigger story, and I guess the reason why I didn't want to say the song is about me is because elaborating on that story is probably where I would draw the line for now. Everyone has their own demons and experiences they try and shut off. You never know, in the future as my confidence grows, I'll be more open."

Tones worried fans a few days after the ARIAs when she posted a long spiel on Facebook, saying she was suffering "relentless bullying".

"With success comes judgment and opinions, this I was prepared for, but the relentless bullying that follows every proud moment tears my mind in two," she wrote.

The post came after her inspiring speech when she won Best Female Artist, where she removed a handwritten note from her pocket and said she didn't think she's the "most relatable female artist".

"I'm not into make-up or dresses or typically girly things. But to me, those things don't really define what it is to be a female artist in this industry any more," she said, to huge cheers and applause.

"It's being brave and courageous and true to yourself. No-one could have ever prepared me for the whole world judging me and comparing you to other artists. But what's most important is that you have to be a good person and care about others and carry yourself well," she continued.

"Thank you for Australia letting me know that I'm OK just the way I am."

Before the ARIAs, conjecture about Tones' real age made national headlines, after many fans and media outlets mistakenly reported her to be 19 rather than 26.

Speaking to Carrie Bickmore and Tommy Little, Tones, who said she was struggling not touring with her music amid the coronavirus lockdown, added she missed the freedom of her busking days.

The singer was a busker in Byron Bay before she became famous.

"I know people might think once you've become successful in the music industry you're free to do whatever you want, but it's almost the opposite," she said.

"Everything I'm doing is for myself and my career and happiness, but feeling more free as in living in a van, just playing where you want, making enough money just to get by … It really felt free."