A ‘Journey’ takenBy Joseph R. Atilano
How befitting indeed that the name of the band of which Arnel Pineda has been the lead singer since late 2007 and with whom he formally made his debut on stage with them in 2008, is called Journey—that is, if we take into consideration everything Arnel Pineda had gone through in his life and all the challenges he had faced before he got that phone call which would forever change his life. The unfolding of events in his life and how he was catapulted to international fame after many years of hardwork is the stuff movies are made of and these circumstances do not just happen to everyone.
I believe Arnel Pineda not only reached for his dreams but he also didn’t stop believing in them. In effect, the international success and recognition he now enjoys also remind other people to trust more the capabilities of our Filipino singers who can hold their own to foreign counterparts. And precisely because of that, Arnel Pineda’s name will always hold a great significance for me mainly because of what he has achieved. In a way, he also broke the stereotype that you can’t have an Asian of ethnic origin to be singing the songs of one of the most popular American bands and being its lead singer—at that—of such an acclaimed band such as Journey. Arnel Pineda broke that ”unwritten rule” and made others sit up and rethink their options of searching for other Asian singers to become lead singers of America-based bands.
Looking back, I remember the very first time that I heard of Arnel Pineda’s name was when he was part of a band called Zoo. I recall sifting through the dusty CDs in the OPM section of the now defunct Tower Records and noticing the cover of the album, and he was one of those on its cover. I didn’t give it much thought because at the time there were so many other CDs to check out but it would be something, later on, that I would wish I had purchased when I had the chance to do so. Fast forward around a year later, as soon as the news broke out that Journey had found their new frontman to sing their popular hits and to continue the legacy that is of Journey, I was so surprised to know that it was a Filipino—and it was none other than Arnel Pineda. Arnel’s rise to international fame marks yet another time that a Filipino of that decade to make it big overseas of his chosen profession.
See? It wasn’t that bad after all that Arnel Pineda covered and performed songs from famous American bands when he was still part of numerous show bands and was doing his rounds in the gig circuits. In more ways than one, that really prepared him and warmed him up for his yet unseen future with Journey. And for Journey the band itself, what a better way for them to be sure when they were in search of a new lead singer than to have seen Arnel Pineda perform the hits of their band on Youtube!
This was really when the opening came in for Arnel Pineda. It opened the doors for him and the idea of bringing him in and auditioning him to become a permanent member of Journey became a reality.
International success definitely builds confidence and that is one of the many positive effects that Journey has had on Arnel Pineda. Now when you see him perform, he is not only placed on a higher pedestal but in a bigger platform that he so deserves. Further, his self-confidence has grown exponentially which makes him an even better performer now.
Once you taste success, it is hard to let it go. But if at one point, if you never experienced success early on, then it is an entirely different feeling to finally have it later on in life. Arnel Pineda, throughout the 80′s to 90′s and to the 2000′s, experienced success at different levels at sporadic moments of his career as a singer and being in a band. Whether it was being in numerous show bands, embarking on his own solo career, being part of a local band that got some mainstream attention to now being the frontman of one of the most popular and established bands in the world in Journey.
When you piece together the stages/phases Arnel Pineda has gone through in his life, you will see that it has really been a long winding road of a journey for him. Upon researching and finding out the many ups and downs he experienced early on in life, one wonders how he was able to withstand all of it. The way I see it, all he needed was a fair chance to show what he’s got and why he was chosen as the new frontman of Journey. Some may view this as pure luck. But it wasn’t as simple as that. One can only imagine what it took for him to get there. Lady luck and chance were only parts of the puzzle and the factors to be taken into consideration that he was chosen to fill in the vacant role or opening that Journey had in 2007. There had to be talent behind it and finding the right person to fit the job description wasn’t a just a stroke of luck for Arnel Pineda because he rightfully earned it!
He not only became a new voice for Journey but his presence in the band also guarantees that we will hear more of the classics and new songs from Journey for many more years to come. Now, it is time for other singers to be covering his hits with the band. Arnel Pineda’s life has certainly come full circle! His best years are still ahead with Journey.
Journey will be performing on March 21, 2013 at the SM MOA Arena.
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