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Drop in my Flower EP now available





Album info 

 

The new EP is now available! Drop in my Flower is a collection of six original songs co-written with GRAMMY® artist Daniel Ho (including songs by Amy Kuʻuleialoha Stillman and Corwin Hee). These compositions are illustrative, poetic and deeply compelling. Drawing from her life’s unexpected journey, Dani Joy weaves together vibrant imagery of lazy South African days through her lyrics in Rhino Clouds. She’ll reach deep into your psyche with Beautiful Strange World, let you laugh and play with the harmony ribbons that flow through Pineapple Mango (Ho/Stillman), and reflect and find solace with her in the beautiful pain of loss felt in Nobody Else (Ho/Hee). Sail along on a spontaneous voyage with Drop in my Flower, and allow your inner child to be cradled in the velvety softness of Darling Dream

Daniel Ho’s delicate ukulele fingerpicking is perfectly interwoven with colorful sounds on sparkling piano. The ever-playful ukulele bass brings the stories to life as it mimics a stubborn rhino then lightly bounces along with ripples in the water. 

Take yourself on a musical adventure, get your copy today!

Beautiful Strange World story & lyrics

What I want to express first about this song is how incredible the musical instrumentation is that Daniel wrote. This started as a poem set to a 12 bar blues. It was lacking so much depth, but Daniel Ho heard something different. He heard something that’s never been done, completely new, completely different, un-categorizable. The piano parts are of particular Beauty to me. I am just captivated by the way the notes interact with eachother. Not only that, but Daniel played around the vocals so perfectly, mimicking my timing on some sections, and creating a classic sounding counter-point to others. I am so blown away by his treatment of this poem. Just breathtaking. 

The poem is something I started working on a couple years ago. I remember singing the first verse over and over, out in the desert in New Mexico, trying to decide where the lyrics were going. Then I rewrote the first verse from “We live in a Strange Strange World” to “We live in a Beautiful Place”. I liked them both, because they are both true. The word “Strange” can mean so many things. It’s a bipartison word, it can be interpreted however the listener wishes, no matter their policital/religious views. It’s something we can all agree on. 

I wanted to convery that the singer begins with a universal thought; We live in a Strange world. Then she reminds the listener to appreciate what we DO have, a Beautiful Place, even amidst the Strange. On verse 3, she empathizes with the listener that life is hard sometimes, allowing the listener to feel a little sorry for themselves. That’s when she switches the script and preaches about not taking the Beautiful world for granted; “Not always easy, sometimes it’s hard to imagine that we take for granted this beautiful place in this strange world.” 

By the next verse she’s starting to be more transparent, vulnerable to admit that even she doesn’t always appreciate this Beautiful place and her place within it. In the last verse, all the sentaments are blended together, ending with her omission that her own perspective needs a shift, and showing how everything is connected. Practice what you preach. Full circle.

Beautiful Strange World by Dani Joy & Daniel Ho 

We live in a Strange, Strange World

We live in a Strange Strange World 

We live in a Strange World 

And all of us suffer one way or another

The price that we pay for this 

Strange, Strange World 

We live in a Beautiful Place

We live in a Beautiful Place 

We live in a Beautiful Place

And it’s not always easy to see

This Beautiful Place in this 

Strange Strange World 

Not always easy, sometimes it’s hard

Not always easy, sometimes it’s hard

Not alwys easy sometimes it’s 

Hard to imagine that we take for granted

This Beautiful Place in this 

Strange Strange World 

Not always happy, sometimes I’m sad

Not always happy, sometimes I’m sad 

And I can’t imagine my

Beautiful Place in this Strange World 

We live in a Strange, Strange World

We live in a Beautiful Place

Not always easy, sometimes I’m sad

And I take for granted my 

Beautiful place in this 

Strange Strange World 

Not always easy, sometimes I’m sad

As I make my way through this 

Strange, Strange World…….. 

Pineapple Mango

by Daniel Ho & Amy Ku'uleialoha Stillman | Drop in my Flower

Pineapple Mango story & lyrics

This adorable song is one that Daniel Ho wrote in college. His original concept was inspired by an assignement to write a “television theme”. Later, his friend Amy Ku’uleialoha Stillman added the lyrics, which are Hawai’ian and sing about making breakfast, burning the toast and then drinking coffee to wake up & start all over again!  (See english transaltion below) 

This version is a little bit different. We were inspired to collaborate on this after Daniel heard the scratch recording of his original version that I had made for my Peewee Ukulele Orchestra (8 kids ages 8-14) who were performing the song with Daniel at the 2019 Auburn Ukulele Festival in northern California. In the recording I’d accidentally added a swing rhythm, which Daniel liked. He said, “Hey, let’s add this to our set, but I’ll change the key to fit your vocals [G to C] and write a slack-key ukulele part for you to play!” I was flabergasted and got right to work learning the parts. Throughout the next several months, we continued working on it and Daniel asked if I had written any music myself. And that’s how it all began. 

The harmonies at the end are my favorite part to this recording. To me they sound like ribbons dancing under water. I came into the studio March 2020 and Daniel had a simple harmony idea in place, but the actual layering and added harmonies were done on the spot in about 20 minutes. It’s absoultely amazing to see him work. 

Pineapple Mango by Daniel Ho & Amy Ku’uleialoha Stillman

Halakahiki Manaco  

Halakahiki Manaco 

Halakahiki Manaco 

E ‘ai ka hua ‘ai

Liliko’i ‘alani

Liliko’i ‘alani

Liliko’i ‘alani

E inu i ka wai

Palaoa pulehu

Palaoa pulehu

Palaoa pulehu

Me waiupaka 

Palaoa papa’a 

Palaoa papa’a 

Palaoa papa’a 

E ho’omaka hou

Inu kope me ke ko 

Inu kope me ke ko 

Inu kope me ke ko 

E ‘ala mai kakou

(English translation)

Pineapple Mango 

Pineapple Mango 

Pineapple Mango

Eat the fruit salad

Passionfruit orange

Passionfruit orange

Passionfruit orange

Drink the juice 

Toast 

Toast

Toast

With butter 

Burnt toast

Burnt toast

Burnt toast 

Start over 

Drink coffee with sugar

Drink coffee with sugar

Drink coffee with sugar

Let’s wake up! 

Darling Dream story & lyrics

Dedicated to all the children of the world who feel pain, including the inner child inside of all of us. As a music teacher, I see the pain in peoples hearts, the childhood memories that keep them from exploring their creative side. The child inside is hiding, afraid to come out and play. This whole album is an expression of my inner mother & inner child combined. With these lyrics and my carefully chosen vocal inflextions, I’m hoping to convey a sense of safety, a compassion that feeds deeply into the soul. I have to say, this is my favorite song on the album. 

Darling Dream by Dani JOy & Daniel Ho 

Hello, my love, 

Why are you hiding my sweet little Dove…

Come let me show you…

You’ve cried enough

What if we laughed our tears away?

Open your wings

We’ll fly away to see 

Magical things

Elephants dancing with 

Lollipop trees

Marshmellow clouds that taste so sweet

You’ll be alright

All these monsters are shadows of night

Hear my lullaby Love, 

Darling now sleep 

Sleep and you’ll dream of the nights

When I held you

When you want to cry

Remember the dream world 

Inside of your mind

And we can go there

Whenever you like 

To swim in the sweet sunshine of Love….

Drop in my Flower story & lyrics

I was 2 weeks into my 4 week trip around the globe. Sitting on the edge of the water in Kirribilli, just across the harbor from the Sydney Opera House, I had this sense of longing that felt unquenchable. Mind you, this was after 10 days in Maui and a week in Melbourne. I had already swam with turtles, ran with emus and shook the hand of a kangaroo. I’d watched penguins scampering out of the arctic waters at the tip of Australia too, and walked under trees ful off parret-esque rainboow birds. All of this, AND my next stop was cuddling lion cubs, feeding giraffs and searching for monkeys and elephants in South Africa for 2 weeks.

And yet, sitting on that water, with a fragrant white Plumeria flower in my hand, I had this unquenchable lust for more. More travel. More exploration. I could feel the heart inside my chest beating for the sea breeze of a past life, the cut of the sail, Adventure calling. “Take me away. Take me away, to that far off place where I’ll never stay long enough”. 

I’ve had this urge, this longing since I was a child. I’ve always longed for Adventure, and the more I see, the more I want to see. Always one step further. Always one new person to meet, one new town to see, one new flower to smell and one new kindred spirit to resonate with. 

With all of this flooding my heart, I wrote this poem there on the harbor, sail boats bobbing to the invisible beat. Once I was in South Africa, I sat in a cartoonly-steriotypical safari jeep, out in the bush, Kudu grazing around me, and there I decided on the upbeat rhythm. Daniel Ho took it all and added the coolest, funkiest bass line to it, bringing it to life! 

Drop in my Flower by Dani Jou & Daniel Ho 

I’m going down to the water

Drop in my flower

Watch the ebb & flow

Which way will it go? 

May be rain and showers, 

Or the suns ferocious power

Either way I’ll be soakin’ 

As I watch the water flowin’

Take me away, 

Take me away, 

To that far off place

Where I could never stay

Long enough. 

All the ships in the ahrbor

Coudl sail a little farther

I’d gladly leave my home

How bad I ache to go

Take me away, 

take me away

To that far off place 

Where I could never stay….

Long enough

If for a moment or a day, you know

I could never stay……. 

Long enough.

Nobody Else story & lyrics

Another orignal song by Daniel Ho, lyrics written by Corwin Hee. When I heard this song, it spoke to my grieving heart. It may not be translated that way to everybody, but I had just lost my Dad (3 years before, but it will always feel like yesterday). I couldn’t practice the vocals on this one at first without crying, which sounds sad, but it was healing too. I thought about my friends who have passed, and my friends who’s family members have passed. It’s true, you’re never ready for it, and when the world keeps moving on and the seasons keep changing, it’s hard to coprehend why, but slowly you find healing. When my Dad passed, he left a hole in my heart. I don’t know that it will ever heal completely, but it’s good to know I’m not alone. And you’re not alone. We are kindred spirits who know what grief is, and that’s a Beautiful thing. 

Nobody Else by Daniel Ho & Corwin Hee

Well I know the seasons keep on changing

The clouds above keep on raining 

People just keep passing on their way

As I find the leaves are falling slowly

Love is lost and leaving only

Memories that last throughout the day

I know this ain’t the life you planned on

Left without a hope to stand on

Hard times keep coming everyday

And the work to do just keeps on growing

All the while I’m hardly knowin’

How I might keep going on my way

And I don’t know how to thank you 

I don’t know what to say

I haven’t got a thing here left to play 

And so I’ll try to understand you 

Then I’ll try to thank you 

‘Cuz there ain’t nobody else

I’m living for 

I know these days won’t last forever 

Fortunes change just like the weather

Rains will pass and someday you will see

But I thank you for believing in me 

Standin’ by just keep on singin’ 

Soon I’ll be the one 

You’d hoped I’d be

And I don’t know how to thank you 

I don’t know what to say

I haven’t got a thing here left to play 

And so I’ll try to understand you 

Then I’ll try to thank you 

‘Cuz there ain’t nobody else

I’m living for 

I know this ain’t the life you planned on

Left without a hope to stand on

Stranded here along out on the sea

But I thank you for believing in me

Standin’ by just keep on singin’ 

Soon I’ll be the one 

You’d hoped I’d be 

And I don’t know how to thank you 

I don’t know what to say

I haven’t got a thing here left to play 

And so I’ll try to understand you 

Then I’ll try to thank you 

‘Cuz there ain’t nobody else

I’m living for 

So I’ll try to understand you

Then I’ll try to thank you

‘Cuz there ain’t nobody else 

I’m livin’ for…..

Rhino Clouds story & lyrics

Rhino Clouds

Rhino Clouds was written in a park in South Africa (Johannesburg) as I was having a play-date with my friend Portia and her grandkids Gabby and Sebastien. I was noodling around on my ukulele while Gabby was telling me about her mermaid song idea and Portia kept jumping up from the picnic blanket to chase little Sebby around the jungle gym. It struck me how sweet it was that Portia, a woman with responsibilities of her own, made sure to make time for frivolous play-time with the kids. It would have been so easy to say, “No, no park today. I’m busy, just color or build that puzzle I bought you.” But instead she was engaged and childish along with them. After we were all tired out, we lay in the grass on the blanket and pointed out cloud animals to each other. It was one of the best times I can remember, and I’m happy I was able to articulate it into a song. 

The verse music was inspired by Daniel Ho’s “Colorful Sounds” lesson program through Yamaha music. He talks about creating “modules” from complex chords. His modules create unusual combinations of notes which invoke emotions one doesn’t often access when hearing ukulele music. I had my fingers stretched and twisted for the first section and luckily Daniel found a much easier way to play the same thing higher up the neck, utilizing open strings. Daniel was inspired to make the song even better with his “rhino-charging” bass sounds and beautiful finger style bridge section. He said, “The lyrics on the bridge say ‘We don’t have time’ so I added a faster rhythm to represent the impatience.” I couldn’t be happier with the result. 

Rhino Clouds by Dani Joy & Daniel Ho

Beautiful Day, look at the clouds… 

What do you see? 

What do you see? 

I found a rhino

Little Boy Blue… 

Crocodile Tears… 

What in the world? 

What in the World? 

What did I tell you?

We don’t have time to play in the garden. 

I’ve got the laundry, the bills and…

Oh never mind, 

I’ve got plenty of time 

For you….

What do you want to be when you grow up? 

A fireman’s dog? 

That’s not a thing. 

Well, if you say so…..





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