Arnel Pineda Performs in Dubai – Khaleej Times Online

Arnel Pineda, vocalist for rock megastars Journey, prepares for a Valentine’s Day solo show in Dubai

IT’S BEEN A wild ride for Arnel Pineda since 2007.

The Filipino singer was discovered performing Journey covers on YouTube by Neil Schon, guitarist and founder member of the group who have sold more than 75 million albums in their 37-year career.

Along with his new bandmates, he has appeared on programmes including The Oprah Winfrey Show and The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Meanwhile, Journey’s latest album Revelation hit number five in America in 2008, a phenomenal improvement on previous record Generations which scraped in at a career-low number 170, and unsurprisingly topped the charts in the Philippines as well.

City Times spoke with Arnel ahead of his Valentine’s Day solo show in Dubai.

Is life in an international rock band how you expected it would be?

Yes it is. I was prepared for it during my years of singing – since the age of 15 with my bandmates here in the Philippines. I was exposed to a lot of the behaviours and attitudes of musicians, famous and not. Plus I’ve seen what happens in the music videos of all my favourite international bands over the years.

Describe the feeling you get when you walk on stage in front of tens of thousands of people.

My very first gig in Chile was the most terrifying. But after that I began to adapt, and I’ve developed this sense of professionalism. When I’m about to face those people, who expecting to hear that distinct sound and witness the legacy, I become so focused on what I need to do onstage. Plus there’s that tingling feeling of excitement, and the lingering question of how they’re going to react after I’ve finished each song.

Where do you think you would be if you hadn’t joined Journey?

I would have gone back to Hong Kong with my wife and kids.

Have the rest of the band taught you any lessons on dealing with the crazy world you’ve entered?

I was pretty much expecting how crazy it was going to be, and I was quite prepared – except for the amount of travelling that I go through with the band. Different cities every day, airports, hotels…that’s really the crazy part for me.

What will your solo set in Dubai consist of?

The songs that have played a big part of my evolution as a singer and a songwriter, and I’ll try to do some songs from our Zoology album (with former band The Zoo) too.

Do you enjoy your new role as a Filipino ambassador to the world?

I don’t consider myself an ambassador yet for my fellow men, maybe because I’m still my old self and maintain a simple attitude despite the things I’ve accomplished lately.

Is it hard being a good role model?

It will be quite hard, because we all know that nobody’s perfect. But I’m praying that I will be able to live up to expectation as an ambassador.

How much time do you get to relax outside of Journey, and how often do you see your family?

I am only with Journey when we have to work, and the rest of my free time I can spend with my family. I even brought my family with me last year around America when I toured with the band.

Event details

What: Arnel Pineda from Journey performing live

Where: Dubai World Trade Centre, Zabeel Hall

When: Sunday, February 14, doors open at 8pm for a 9pm start

Cost: Dhs125 apiece, Dhs195 couples entry, Dhs175 VIP

Tickets: Available at www.boxofficeme.com, www.ticketingboxoffice.com, Virgin Megastores, Spinneys and other outlets

For more info: Call 04 294 9451 or 056 145 6470

via Khaleej Times Online.

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