Arnel Pineda and Neal Schon record Synchronicity II for a good cause

Rock Against Trafficking

Arnel Pineda & Neal Schon Rock Against TraffickingNeal Schon is spearheading a project with a group of rockers: they join forces for a new album to help combat the issue of global child slavery.

In light of the Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram threatening to sell nearly 300 kidnapped schoolgirls into slavery, “Set Them Free” features songs by the Police and Sting covered by Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, Slash, Journey’s Neal Schon and Arnel Pineda, Joe Bonamassa, Heart, Julian Lennon, Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Trapeze), Free alumnus Andy Fraser and EnVogue to support and raise funds for Rock Against Trafficking (R.A.T.), a new nonprofit group dedicated to raise awareness of and fight for an end to child slavery worldwide. The set is being curated and produced by R.A.T. founder Gary Stewart, and Schon tells Billboard that a September concert in the U.K. has also been broached.

“This is for a very good cause,” says Schon, who recorded the Police’s “Synchronicity II” with Pineda for the project. “All kinds of artists are on this record. “All these different versions of their songs will be on the album, and hopefully a live show that will probably be filmed for the benefit.”

A release date, full track listing and other details are set to be announced in the near future.

A video of The Police singing Synchronicity II:

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On my radar: Arnel Pineda’s cultural highlights

Arnel Pineda was catapulted to international fame in 2007 when Neal Schon, guitarist for US rock band Journey, recruited him as lead singer after seeing his performances on YouTube. Born in the Philippines, Pineda began his musical career aged 15, playing at bars and restaurants in Manila and Hong Kong as the singer for a number of different rock outfits. In 1989, he opened for Robert Palmer as the vocalist of Filipino band Amo before recording a solo album on Warner Bros’ record label in 1999. In 2008, Journey released Revelation, their first album with Pineda on lead vocals, which debuted at No 5 in the Billboard 200 and became their best-selling record since 1996’s Trial By Fire. Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey documents Pineda’s first years as frontman for the multi-platinum-selling band, and is out on DVD on 12 May.

City: Tokyo

View of Tokyo, including bullet train

Tokyo. Photograph: Prisma Bildagentur AG/Alamy

I travel a lot but I’d love to go back to cities such as Paris, Las Vegas, New York and London with my family. When I’m there touring with the band, I have to work and it’s no fun at all. The fans at our shows in Tokyo love music so much; they’re amazing, they give a kind of energy and adrenaline that builds us up when we play. It’s very addictive and you don’t want it to stop, ever. I’d never had this kind of experience before – it’s different in the Philippines. People are very appreciative and music-minded, but they’re kind of shy and not so open.

App: GarageBand


GarageBand screenshot


I use a lot of utility apps on my iPad and I have four kinds of Angry Birds games! I also use GarageBand to create demos. As soon as an idea for a melody pops into my brain I just record it. I also make notes about the lyrics for my songs. It’s such a user-friendly app, especially for a musician like me who’s not really good with instruments – I can play guitar, but only enough to put a structure to my songs, so GarageBand helps a lot. I can create a demo by myself, then hand it over to arrangers and they will completely understand. I take it everywhere with me.

Festival: Download

Brian May on stage playing guitar

Brian May. Photograph: AFP

Download was one of the best festivals I’ve ever been to. We had been playing on stage for about 30 minutes before I noticed Brian May watching us – I almost fainted! After the show, we shook hands and he was very kind about my singing. When it comes to music, he’s someone I grew up listening to and one of my heroes. I saw so many bands at Download that I had only ever seen playing in music videos: Dream Theater, Korn, Buckcherry … It was like dreaming, but with my eyes open.

Film: The Hobbit Trilogy

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, with Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, with Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins. Photograph: Moviestore/Rex Features

I think the first Hobbit film (An Unexpected Journey) was better than The Desolation of Smaug. I was expecting the fate of the dragon to be revealed before reaching the third part and so it didn’t match my anticipation. But, all in all, the story is still great, and the actors are just amazing. When I’m at home, I just tend to watch a lot of Cartoon Network with my family – the most important thing is to spend quality time with my children, which I don’t get to do when I’m out on the road with the band.

Music: The Beatles

The Beatles' Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band – album cover

The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, released in 1967. Photograph: PA

Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Yesterday, For No One, In My Life … I have more than 100 of the Beatles‘ hits on my iPod. Their music is so catchy, but the lyrics really talk to you. From the first moment you hear the first note that they play, you’re hooked. The Beatles’ music has deeply inspired me – if I can be a 10th of a 100th of what they have become, I’d be very grateful. I try to give my everything with my music, but they’re geniuses.

Hobby: Gardening

Cacao tree with fruit pods in La Fortuna, Costa Rica, Central America

Fruit pods on a cacao tree. Photograph: Imagebroker/Alamy

My wife and I have been trying to improve our backyard. Pretty much every morning we check the progress and we look forward to what’s going to be done. Being out in the garden is what I love the most. I have just planted a cacao tree, which is the tree that produces chocolate. You just boil the beans with water and a couple of teaspoons of brown sugar, some spices and butter. I’ve also planted a cactus that produces dragonfruit

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AP on ASAP • 04.20.14

Arnel Pineda will be on ASAP on Sunday, the 20th of April (19th in the US) for ASAP’s special Easter celebration. Arnel will perform twice: During the opening number and another group number with Rivermaya, Yeng Constantino, Zia Denise P. Quizon, and Bamboo Manalac. In the meantime, plan to join us for a viewing party in CHAT:

Time: 11:45 pm, US Eastern
Date: Saturday, 04.19.14

See you there!

Rehearsing for the show. Photo courtesy of Rivermaya

Arnel can be seen around 06:50 and 31:00 on the timestamp:

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Arnel Pineda plans solo album, but not leaving Journey

Arnel Pineda says he’s been putting together an album of his own compositions in his own voice to release this year, but he quashed rumors that he’s gearing up to leave the American rock band Journey.

The Filipino singer and Journey lead vocalist said he will stay as long as the band needs him. Pineda also dismissed talk of a possible band reunion with former lead singer Steve Perry.

The singer spoke in an interview Tuesday during the launch of his version of the song “Charity” in the animated children’s music video “Cha-Ching” on Cartoon Network.

The song about donating money or time to those in need can be purchased from iTunes to benefit Typhoon Haiyan victims in the Philippines.

The singer has been involved in charity projects in the Philippines. Having risen from poverty, he said it was his obligation to help those who struggle with difficulties he experienced.

Pineda, now 46, was once a homeless teenager in Manila who at 15 started singing professionally with small bands. He found success after Journey guitarist Neal Schon discovered him in 2007 on YouTube singing hits of Perry and sounding strikingly like him.

“Even though I am still with (Journey) and we are touring, I am also working on my original materials and I am also recording them,” Pineda said, adding he aims to launch the album this year.

This year, Journey is touring the United States and Canada, and next year will tour South America.

On rumors of a Journey reunion with Perry, he said he has not heard any talk of that.

If that happens, he said “I’d be more than happy to give way,” saying it would allow him more time with his family.

But Pineda said: “As long as they need me I will be there, I’m never gonna quit on them.”

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PBS TV Schedule – Journey 2014: Don’t Stop Believin’

The new PBS special “Journey 2014: Don’t Stop Believin'” will be featured this month to support local public television. The show presents excerpts of the documentary “Don’t Stop Believin”: Everyman’s Journey” and concert footage from “Live in Manila”. PBS will also offer Journey tour tickets, CDs and DVDs. Please check your local listings for more information.

San Diego/KPBS
 – March 3 @ 10 pm
Cincinnati/CET – 
March 3 @ 8 pm
Scranton, PA/WVIA
 – March 4 @ 8 pm
Denver/Rocky Mountain PBS – 
March 4 @ 7 pm
 – March 4 @ 9:30 pm
 – March 5 @ 7:30 pm
North Carolina/UNC-TV – March 5 @ 9:30 pm
Boston/WGBH 2
 – March 5 @ 10:30 pm
San Antonio/KLRN
 & Kansas City/KCPT
 – March 6 @ 8:30 pm
Salt Lake City/KUED
 – March 8 @ 8:30 pm
 – March 10 @ 7 pm
Alabama PBS
 – March 10 @ 8:30 pm
 – March 11 @ 9 pm
Virginia Beach/WHRO – 
March 13 @ 8 pm
Detroit PTV – 
March 15 @ 9:30 pm
Dallas/KERA – 
March 23 @ 8:30 pm

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Idol on Idol: Harry Connick Jr. Cites Arnel

Harry Connick, Jr. mentioned Arnel Pineda after rocker Caleb Johnson’s performance of “Pressure and Time” by Rival Sons on American Idol tonight.

Harry said, “You know how, when Journey needed a singer, they got Arnel? Man, if Rival Sons ever needed a singer, brother, you have that gig. You killed it.”

Did you know? Harry Connick, Jr. and Arnel Pineda were born in the same week not too long ago. Harry is younger by six days!

Video credit: Fremantle Media and IdolxMuzic/DailyMotion
American Idol is on FOX Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8/7 Central.
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Arnel Pineda Joins Other Artists in a Song of Gratitude

Within days of typhoon Yolanda’s landfall, aid from all over the world arrived for the victims of Yolanda. Donations and pledges from more than 50 countries started pouring in. As distraught victims sought refuge, the world reached out and offered help in the form of relief goods, rescue and medical assistance.

Three months have passed since typhoon Yolanda wreaked havoc; Filipinos are slowly rebuilding and winning against a seemingly insurmountable adversity. It is time to show the world their heartfelt gratitude in song.

“Listen With Your Heart” is a collaboration of Filipino artists and features some of the most renowned in the international music scene. Lea Salonga, Lani Misalucha, Arnel Pineda and Billy Crawford dedicated their time and talent in the production for a cause. Joining them are talents from Star Records: Jaimie Rivera, Angeline Quinto, Yeng Constantino, Juris Fernandez, Bugoy Drilon, Liezel Garcia, Jovit Baldivino, KZ Tandingan, Marion Aunor and Wynn Andrada.

Song Credits

Producer: ABS-CBN’s Creative Communications Management Division
Lyrics: Christine Daria-Estabillo
Music: Marcus Davis Jr.
Video Director: by Paolo Ramos.

Creative and Production Team: Johnny delos Santos, Roxy Liquigan, Jonathan Manalo, Danie Sedilla-Cruz, Mark Raywin Tome, Edsel Misenas, Jaime Porca, Jojo Medrano, Danica Rueda, Emil Rae Hembra, Alfie Landayan and Andrew Go.

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Rocker Dad Arnel Pineda Leads GSK’s Win Against Asthma Campaign

Asthma affects 235 million people worldwide, and an estimated 250,000 people worldwide die from asthma annually. Most of these occur in those over 45 years old which is largely preventable.

In the Philippines, about 10.7 million people have asthma, which is the most common chronic disease of childhood and is the leading cause of childhood morbidity from chronic disease as measured by school absences, emergency visits and hospitalizations. There has been a sharp increase in the global prevalence, morbidity, mortality, and economic burden associated with asthma over the last 40 years, particularly in children, and it is estimated that another 100 million people will suffer from asthma by 2025.
The cost incurred by asthma, particularly uncontrolled asthma, is substantial. Asthma was PhilHealth’s 13th most reimbursed condition in 2011 with 61,219 claims and for which Philhealth paid Php369 million. This increased to 92,981 and became the 6th most reimbursed condition in 2012, and for which Philhealth spent Php836.829 million.
Despite the availability of treatment guidelines and medicines for the treatment and management of asthma, the majority of patients with asthma remain to be uncontrolled, thus leading to compromised lives. According to the AIRAP 26 study, only 1% of children with asthma in the Philippines are well-controlled.
The good news is that, while asthma can be a serious condition, it can be controlled. Access to doctors and treatment has been shown to significantly decrease asthma deaths and hospitalizations. People with asthma can lead normal and active lives. They can even excel.
By launching the Win Against Asthma campaign this year, Glaxo-SmithKline (GSK) is taking a very big opportunity to increase awareness and amplify existing efforts to spread information about asthma and how it can be managed. GSK strongly believes and advocates that in partnership with their doctors, asthma patients can realize that their condition need not deter them from achieving their goals.

For Journey lead singer Arnel Pineda, asthma didn’t come until later. He recalls one morning in the year 2000, while cleaning their room in their old house in Kamuning, when he felt he was catching a cold. He thought it was normal until it got worse after 30 minutes. ‘Bigla na lang maga na ilong ko at merong shortness of breath,’ he shared. ‘Nagpahinga ako sandali pero after a while, ayan na naman.’

Arnel sought the advice of a doctor-friend who discovered that his larynx was inflamed due to dust. Apparently it was a case of asthma triggered by allergies. ‘Nung una nga, mahirap paniwalaan kasi malakas naman ako at hindi naman ako naninigarilyo.’ Apparently, another major trigger was inhaling second-hand smoke from the bars and venues where he would perform in Manila.

Even smoke from the vehicle while on commute worsened his condition. ‘Parang nagsisikip na yung dibdib ko, faint and shallow na yung breath ko na parang kulang yung oxygen intake.’  This went on for years and even worsened around the time he was discovered to be Journey’s lead singer in 2008. It was also around this time when doctors diagnosed his sickness as allergy-induced asthma.

Determined to break into the international entertainment scene, Arnel didn’t let his sickness take away the wonderful opportunity of raising the Filipino flag in the world of music, and took everything as a challenge. ‘After every performance, sobrang bigat ng pakiramdam ko, hindi ako makahinga at may wheezing sound dahil nga wala nang oxygen na pumapasok. Hindi naging madali nung una pero kailangan labanan,’ he explained.

Around that time, the band was scheduled to go on a tour to introduce him as the new vocalist. His doctor advised him to take care of his lungs and larynx with water therapy and medications. ‘Ang kasama ko  backstage, maraming gamot.’

It’s a good thing that his band members were fully supportive of his condition. Whenever he would have an asthma attack in the middle of a show, their equally talented guitarist takes on the stage. ‘No choice, mag-a-adlib siya ng gitara para makabili ako ng oras sa treatment backstage kaya’t talagang sama-sama kami rito at all-out support din sila. At buti na lang may paraan at mga gamot na talagang nakakatulong,’ he happily said. ‘Talagang kahit ano pa man ang mangyari, tuloy ang show, all-out ang perfomance at hindi ko pwedeng payagan na ang asthma ko ang iiral.’

As a family man and dad, Arnel couldn’t help but be concerned especially with his 8-year old boy who is also suffering from asthma. He encourages his children to get into sports such as biking, running or swimming to keep them healthy, and tries to do these activities with the family. Arnel and his wife also do their best to provide their kids with healthy and nutritious food such as fruits, vegetables, fish, etc. ‘Bilang ama, responsibility ko yan para sa kapakanan nila. Parati rin ready ang medications nung panganay namin kahit nasa school kasi hindi mo masabi.’

As Arnel’s journey continues, he sees himself still performing and making his own music as he grows older.  ‘While people believe in me and my talent, I’ll keep on going and offering this gift of music. Hinding-hindi na mawawala yon. Yung mga challenges, tulad ng sakit ko, I can’t let it rule dahil mahal ko ang ginagawa ko at lalong-lalo na yung mga taong napapaligaya ko.’

Arnel has been managing his asthma for a long time.  He has battled the disease and dismissed his fear.  Arnel strongly believes that as long as he works very closely with his doctor, he will win over asthma.

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Arnel Pineda dispels rumors that the journey is over

Despite rumors circulating the internet, Journey lead singer Arnel Pineda isn’t stepping down as the front man for the legendary band anytime soon. Arnel says:

“I am as happy to be in Journey today as I was when I first joined the group. Next to my family in Manila, Journey is my family. When I’m not working, I spend time at home with my wife and kids, and my Foundation. Now, I am busy preparing for our tour with Steve Miller Band and Tower of Power. I wish whoever is making up these lies would put their time to good use and stop spreading these false stories.”

The same statement was released earlier today in response to an article by UltimateRock.com, quoting a ClassicRock.com piece (now removed).

Prior to the statement, Arnel also tweeted:

Arnel Pineda tweets to dispels rumors that he's leaving Journey

Journey is gearing up to take the stage this spring along with The Steve Miller Band and Tower of Power in the United States. The tour kicks off May 15 in Chula Vista, California at the Sleep Train Amphitheater.

Photo © William Mancebo

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