Never Stop Believin’ : A Magic of Man’s Journey

I really inspired with Arnel Pineda’s life-story.. I’ve been a fan of journey since Steve Perry era.. With his high-pitch tenor vocal chords, it mades Journey one of best band in the world in class with Toto.. Until now, if they gone, no one can beat them. Even Bon Jovi himself admit that one of his biggest influenced was Steve Perry (ex-Journey vocalist), besides grindcore giant Mark Greenway (Napalm Death) also took Steve Perry as his major influenced. Just look at his earlier haircut.

This isn’t about Steve Perry, this about Arnel Pineda. A ugly duckling who change into beautiful swan, a cinderella story. A poor boy who never say, he will be like what he got now. The story begin like this, Arnel Pineda shared that he began performing when he was a young boy in the Philippines. His mother and father, both tailors, recognized his talent early on and encouraged him to enter singing competitions.

Then, when Arnel was 13 years old, his mother died after a long illness. The family was left bankrupt, and Arnel was forced to fend for himself.

Eventually, Arnel became homeless. He slept on park benches in and around Manila and collected scrap metal to earn enough money for food.

After years of struggling, Arnel started singing to earn a living. He jumped from band to band and lived paycheck to paycheck. Then, one of his shows at Manila’s Hard Rock Café was uploaded to YouTube. The rest, as they say, is rock ‘n’ roll history.

In 2007, Neal, Journey’s lead guitarist, came across the video of Arnel. He watched in amazement as this young man from the Philippines performed “Faithfully,” one of Journey’s biggest hits, with the same passion and intensity as Steve Perry.

“I stumbled upon Arnel like in the eleventh hour when I was ready to give up,” Neal says. “And I went, ‘Wow.’”

The other members of the band agreed to fly Arnel to Los Angeles for an audition. “From the first point that I heard [him] until he came over not long afterward to audition with us, we’ve had what I call GBS—goose bump surplus,” says Ross, the band’s bass player.

After years of searching, Journey finally found its new lead singer. Not only has Arnel perfected that Steve Perry sound, he’s also reignited the soul of a band whose journey had stalled.

Arnel gives all the credit to his mother, a woman who believed in him long before he believed in himself. “I think it’s her voice that carried me all through this pain that I’ve gone through,” he says. “She’s always been my biggest influence.”

It’s the story of a man who never stop believing. The man who never stop trying. He even built his own foundations to help back the street kids in Philippines so-called Arnel Pineda Foundation. As what he says “I did not stop believing…Without you, I wouldn’t have gone this far.  Now is my chance to give back”. We all can donate to his foundation. Why there’s no artists like him here in Malaysia? I inspired by him, so can you. The movie about him and Journey will be release this year and it’s a biopic titled Don’t Stop Believin’:Everyman’s Journey.

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