Got 7 Minutes? Learn to Play Moana’s ‘Shiny’ (and Make Your Kids Happy)

by Marisa Torrieri Bloom 

Moana is one of my favorite movies to watch with my kids — and, heck, even other peoples’ kids. A big part of that is the soundtrack, full of singalong tracks written the brilliant Lin-Manuel Miranda of Hamilton fame.

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The crab Tamatoa, as seen in the 2016 Disney film “Moana” (aka, the greatest Disney movie ever made).

I spent a good part of last summer playing the soundtrack in my car on repeat, and me and the little men would belt out the songs.

Our favorite, by far, was “Shiny” — the anthem sung by the scary crab Tamatoa. 

The best part about this song is that it’s not too hard to learn — the chords are simple and pretty much anyone who knows how to play basic open chords (and a few power chords) can play along. And so I’ve created a short video tutorial here for Rockmommy readers. Enjoy!

PS: Chords and lyrics below the video. Warning: Chord formatting will vary by device, so listen to the song to get the timing right.

SHINY (written by Lin-Manuel Miranda for the 2016 Disney film “Moana”)

VERSE
Em / Am / Em /
Tamatoa hasn’t always been this glam
Am / Em /
I was a drab little crab once
Am / C /
Now I know I can be happy as a clam
D / Em /
Because I’m beautiful, baby

Am / Em /
Did your granny say listen to your heart
Am / Em /
Be who you are on the inside
Am / C /
I need three words to tear her argument apart
D /
Your granny lied! I’d rather be…

CHORUS
G /
Shiny
C / G /
Like a treasure from a sunken pirate wreck
C D
Scrub the deck and make it look…

G /
Shiny
C / Am /
I will sparkle like a wealthy woman’s neck
D /
Just a sec! Don’t you know
Em / C
Fish are dumb, dumb, dumb
/ Em / C /
They chase anything that glitters (beginners!)
Em / C
And here they come, come, come
/ Am /
To the brightest thing that glitters
D
Mmm, fish dinners

/ Eb
I just love free food
Eb
And you look like seafood (seafood)

VERSE
Em /
Well, well, well
Am / Em /
Little Maui’s having trouble with his look
Am /
You little semi-demi-mini-god
Em / Am /
Ouch! What a terrible performance
C /
Get the hook (get it?)
D / Em /
You don’t swing it like you used to, man

Am / Em /
Yet I have to give you credit for my start
Am / Em /
And your tattoos on the outside
Am / C /
For just like you I made myself a work of art
D /
I’ll never hide; I can’t, I’m too…

CHORUS
G /
Shiny
C / G /
Watch me dazzle like a diamond in the rough
C D
Strut my stuff; my stuff is so…

G /
Shiny
C / Am /
Send your armies but they’ll never be enough
D /
My shell’s too tough, Maui man,

Em / C
you could try, try, try
/ Em /
But you can’t expect a demi-god
C /
To beat a decapod (look it up)

Em / C /
You will die, die, die
/ Am /
Now it’s time for me to take apart
D /
Your aching heart

BRIDGE
Eb Bb Eb Bb
Far from the ones who abandoned you Chasing
Eb Bb
the love of these humans
Eb Bb
Who made you feel wanted
C Dm
You tried to be tough
Eb F
But your armour’s just not hard enough

Bb
Maui
G#
Now it’s time to kick your hiney, ever seen someone so…

CHORUS
G /
Shiny
C / G /
Soak it in ’cause it’s the last you’ll ever see
C D
C’est la vie mon ami, I’m so…

G /
Shiny
C / Am /
Now I’ll eat you, so prepare your final plea
D
Just for me
Eb
You’ll never be quite as shiny
Eb
You wish you were nice and…
G
Shiny!!

Marisa Torrieri Bloom is the editor of Rockmommy. 

From Backstreet Boy to Musical Dad: Howie D. on Love, Fatherhood and New Record ‘Which One Am I?

by Marisa Torrieri Bloom

The Backstreet Boys are all dads in their 30s and 40s — which proves you’re never too old to be a pop star, and churn out hits infused with killer vocal harmonies and choreographed dance moves. 

And as the experience of founding member Howie D. proves, you’re never too old to try something completely different and unexpected. 

The vocalist’s first family album ‘Which One am I?’ — which draws on his sometimes-awkward adolescence as the son of a Puerto Rican mom and Irish-American Dad — drops July 12. Judging by the catchy first single, “No Hablo Español” — a Santana-meets-Sesame-Street tune — the record will show us a side of Howie we’ve only glimpsed in interviews and news stories.

Howie D

Backstreet Boys vocalist Howie D. will release first family album, Which One Am I?, on July 12.

In the video for “No Hablo Español” Howie’s real-life, 10-year-old son James plays a young boy trying to explain to kids and grown-ups in his community that he doesn’t speak Spanish, isn’t accustomed to spicy foods, and has had few cultural experiences that exemplify his presumed upbringing. It’s a powerful song that encapsulates the struggle experienced by many kids from mixed family backgrounds — especially today.

“Unfortunately, I wasn’t taught Spanish at a young age,” Howie D. — whose full name is Howie Dorough — tells Rockmommy. “My response was always ‘No Hablo Español.’”

The album is also inspired by Howie’s perspective as a father of two, who — just like the rest of us — works hard to balance creative career endeavors with the demands of parenting, like shuttling kids to and from school every day (raise your hand if you can relate!). 

So how does he do it all? 

We caught up with Howie D., who is currently on the Backstreet Boys DNA World Tour, to find out more. 

Rockmommy: I just finished watching the video for “No Hablo Español” — it’s like Sesame Street meets a Broadway musical! How did the song (and the album Which One Am I?) come about?

Howie D: Thank you, that’s such a compliment and exactly what I was looking to achieve. The idea for the song “No Hablo Español” came from my experiences as a child and people assuming I spoke Spanish by the way I look. Unfortunately, I wasn’t taught Spanish at a young age. My response was always: “No Hablo Español.” The album is based off different childhood experiences and challenges I faced.

Rockmommy: When did it occur to you that you wanted to create a family album? Was there a moment? Or did the idea sort of percolate over time?

Howie D: This idea started when my eldest was about 5 years old. I wanted to find a way to connect with him on a musical level. I had a hard time relating to music that was out there at the time. It made me wonder why there wasn’t more music that kids and parents could enjoy together. Also, as I looked into the audience at a Backstreet Boys show one day, I noticed a lot of kids coming to the shows with their BSB fan parents. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back… and I began working on what is now Which One Am I?

Rockmommy: You became a husband and then a dad after decades of musical success with the Backstreet Boys. How has parenthood changed you, personally?

Howie D.: Parenthood has taught me to be selfless. Having a family has really balanced me out in life. Now, I am able to truly understand the meaning of working hard, but also the meaning of being a family man too.

Rockmommy: How has parenthood influenced your music (or even your tour schedule)?

Howie D.: Parenthood has influenced my music by making me think about different subjects. I am inspired by different things nowadays. All 5 of us in the Backstreet Boys are now parents. We try to work together on a schedule that allows us to work hard and put in quality time with our families, even if it is on the road.

Rockmommy: Do your boys enjoy playing music or sing with you?

Howie D.: My kids LOVE singing with me. On the way to school — I am the bus driver when I am home — we are always singing along and rewriting songs we hear on the radio. James definitely has the entertainer bug! He loves singing and dancing. He even takes voice lessons from my sister, Pollyanna [Dorough].

Rockmommy: Do you go to “daddy and me” toddler music classes or anything like that? Or just jam at home?

Howie D.: When my kids were younger, I would go to Gymboree with them. This also inspired me to want to make something more entertaining for families!

Rockmommy: Having a busy work life and kids can be hard on marriage. How do you make it work?

Howie D.: I try to put in quality time for both. When me and my wife are back home, we have a date night once a week. It brings us back to a time when it was just the two of us! Marriage is something you always work on. As I mentioned, I am the bus driver when I’m at home. I love that quality time with the kids in the morning and afternoons.

Marisa Torrieri Bloom is the editor of Rockmommy. 

What to Do When Goals and Hobbies Become Stressful

When I first began playing guitar in college, no one had to nag me to practice. I played every chance I got, picking up tips from more-skilled players and romantic partners along the way.

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Me, carving out 10 minutes on a sunny day, to play guitar.

Within a few months, I was hooked. It helped, of course, that when I started playing guitar I was dating an insanely skilled player — a guy who patiently walked me through the basics (transitioning from E-minor to G) and the complex stuff (the Circle of Fifths) — but he didn’t need to convince me to practice. I just did, perhaps to the detriment of other areas of my life.

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Fast forward to 2019, and “play guitar” has frequently found itself on my “to do” list — something to accomplish, something to check off. Sure, I play for fun too — I have a new band, Trashing Violet, and we practice for two hours a week — but most days, I try to hit a minimum of 10  minutes. Some days it’s a struggle.

So what gives? I didn’t even know what a “to do” list was when I was a teenager with her first Yamaha Acoustic (12 Gauge) 6-String. 

In a word, motherhood. 

My days are busy and — between making breakfast and lunch, snuggle time, laundry, working as a freelance writer, teaching guitar, working out to stay healthy, cooking, folding laundry, and finally, hanging out with my husband — the amount of time devoted to personal recreation has dwindled. And often times, I’m too exhausted to want to do anything at the end of the day besides watch The Bachelorette (don’t judge, people) or scroll through Instagram. In this way, I’m definitely not alone. 

But it isn’t just motherhood that’s changed me, and given a new urgency to goals like running a half marathon in 1:50”. It’s also the onset of “to do” culture and #goals.

Hobbies are no longer ways to pass the time. They’re #sidegigs and essential passion projects. Like many millennials, I grew up with the mindset that I should follow my dreams only to land a mediocre job after college. I grew up being told that having ambitions didn’t just mean getting a job — it meant aiming for the stars. And never quitting. Winners never quit. 

Of course, being a professional, paid freelance writer — one who’s written for The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun and other esteemed outlets — is fantastic. Getting paid to teach guitar is fantastic. Playing guitar and singing with a band is fantastic. But I also harbor secret dreams that one day, I’ll get paid to tour the world with whatever band I’m in while writing a New York Times best-selling novel. 

The problem is that having goals — or being totally driven by passion projects — can distract us from the here and now. 

The truth is that I can only do so much to be a better writer, guitar player, singer and person. I no longer have the lazy days of college to practice my skills, or lie in my bed thinking of nothing until a poem comes into my head. Being a great mom is the most important thing I do. And that takes time. It also takes time away from personal development or passion projects.

In order to keep my life and recreational endeavors in balance, here are a few rules I follow: 

  1. Keep goals reasonable. If I were to practice guitar 5 hours a day, 5 days a week, I wouldn’t have time for anything else — exercise, parenthood, income-earning ventures, etc. So maybe that means Nita Strauss, a professional guitarist with no kids, will always be a better guitar player than me. But by practicing maybe two to three hours a week, I can still be better than the average hack. 
  1. Set the bar low. My weekly goals are as follows: 3 hard workouts (45 minutes or more) per week; 1 to 2 hours of singing/guitar practice per week (on at least 3 separate days); 1 hour of personal, non-income-generating writing time. That’s it. When I try to raise the bar, I get stressed out because I end up dropping things I need (like meditation). Keeping the bar low-ish leaves me time for self-reflection.
  1. Practice gratitude. Cheesy as it sounds, when I am grateful for the little things — a body that can run half marathons, a spouse who supports my ambitions, two beautiful children, a nice and relaxing home, my parents — I don’t feel deprived or resentful that I’m not as famous as Gwen Stefani. 

As my wise mom friend Emily once told me (I think, quoting Michelle Obama), women can have it all — just not all as once. 

Hobbies and goals should motivate and excite us. If they’re stressing you out, it’s time to rethink why you engaged in them in the first place. And it may be time for a new hobby. 

Marisa Torrieri Bloom is the editor and founder of Rockmommy.