I recently shared with some friends the story of Arnel Pineda. Who is he, you ask? He was a moderately successful singer in the Philippines for twenty-five years who ended up hitting it big on one of the largest stages possible.
In 1998, the rock band Journey and their legendary lead singer Steve Perry parted ways. In the years that followed, and after two replacement singers didn't work out, the band was determined to find the right singer. During the summer of 2007, lead guitarist Neal Schon happened to be cruising YouTube and saw cover videos of Journey hits being sung by Arnel Pineda. Intrigued, the band flew Arnel over to America for a live audition. In front of the band, Arnel gave his most important performance to date. Impressed with his sound, the band made Arnel their new lead singer, and the rest is history. The band's first album fronted by Arnel went platinum.
What can we take away from Arnel's success? The following thoughts come to mind:
- Put yourself out there. Chances are the band Journey would have never discovered Arnel if a friend had not posted video content of his performances to YouTube. What's special about you, and how can you get the word out to others?
- When the opportunity appears, go for it! Initially Arnel refused to communicate with Neal because he thought it was a prank. Once the truth was revealed, however, he jumped in with both feet and has not looked back. What's holding you back from accomplishing your dreams?
- You don't necessarily have to be an original. Arnel sounds stunningly similar to the original lead singer Steve Perry. In fact, his band mates have stated that sometimes they forget who is actually up on stage singing. Be who you are - not who everyone else needs or wants you to be.
- Don't Stop Believing. It took Arnel 25 years of playing small clubs and bars before he became lead singer of Journey. Singing was his gift, his love. And look at how it all played out for him.