Music

Tones And I Slams Australia’s Tall Poppy Syndrome In Revealing Interview

"You guys make me want to leave the fucking country. Like, what are you doing to me? It’s not like I’m Trump. Shit, Trump gets more respect than this.”

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Tones And I is one of the biggest artists in the world. But that’s not the same as being one of the most liked artists in the world.

The one-time busker turned global superstar has received a fair deal of criticism. Some of that has been warranted critiques of her music and songwriting skills. Some of it has been completely unwarranted attacks on her looks and age.

Now, in a new interview with Rolling Stone Australia, Tones and I — real name Toni Watson — has hit back at her detractors characterising herself as less respected than US President, Donald Trump.

“I’m beating out all these American artists,” Watson says at one point in the interview. “An Australian female artist is beating out all these American artists and you guys make me want to leave the fucking country. Like, what are you doing to me? It’s not like I’m Trump. Shit, Trump gets more respect than this.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Watson spoke about the cruel nature of the online bullying directed towards her.

“There’s a difference between negative opinions that don’t affect you, that are horrible — they don’t need to be said, but if you want to say it, that’s fine,” she says. “But then there’s really digging in and pulling out my heart and soul, and just shoving it back in my face, and beating me over and over again until I’m sitting here crying in my own home.

“No one even understands how bad it really is,” she admits. “How much do we have to fucking push someone, does someone have to kill themselves?”

She then addressed critics directly: “I promise you everything that you say, I feel about myself now. I promise you that I feel like shit all the time, so leave me alone now because there’s nothing more you can do.”

It’s not the first time Watson has spoken out about the relentless bullying she’s been subjected to since finding fame a year ago. At last year’s ARIA Awards, she spoke about the struggle in her acceptance speech for Best Female Artist.

“No-one could have ever prepared me for the whole world judging me and comparing you to other artists,” she said onstage. “But what’s most important is that you have to be a good person and care about others and carry yourself well. Thank you for Australia letting me know that I’m OK just the way I am.”

Two days ago, ‘Dance Monkey’ crossed the billion view mark — an amazing milestone for an artist who was practically unknown a year ago.