Arnel Pineda said he wasn't a fan of Journey’s signature song “Don’t Stop Believin’” until he joined the band and realized it had been “waiting” for him throughout his career.

The singer endured what he called a “tough and cruel path” to success before Journey signed him up in 2007. In a new interview with Loudwire, he said he had preferred other songs from the band’s catalog until that point. “Honestly, I was not a big fan of the song at first,” he admitted.

“‘Open Arms’ … was the very first song I heard from them. … When I became a professional singer, a cover singer at the age of 16 years old, ‘Open Arms’ was the first song that I sang. ... I think my three most favorite songs are ‘Faithfully,’ ‘Winds of March’ and ‘Why Can’t This Night Go on Forever.’ Mr. Steve Perry’s voice there is absolutely perfect. It just gets me going. When I’m sad or I’m happy, they just make me think about the good things in life.”

Pineda reflected on his more negative moments, saying he was the victim of bullying as a boy and that he had struggled with the death of his mother just before his singing career began. In 2005, he remembered, “I had to resign from my band because I lost my voice. ... It was a tough and cruel path until I met Journey.”

Watch Journey With Arnel Pineda Perform ‘Don’t Stop Believin’’

Things began turning around for him in 2007, when guitarist Neal Schon made contact. “We had a good talk first, and he invited me over to San Francisco and I met [Journey],” he said. That 's when he changed his mind about “Don’t Stop Believin’." “I finally realized, this song has been waiting for me to realize that it was the soundtrack of my life. It really means so much to me now, and now every time that I go for something, it suddenly rings in my head. It’s those three words: Don’t stop believin’.”

Pineda added: “To be in this band – because some people still consider me a karaoke singer, blah, blah, blah, whatever – I’m just proud and so grateful. I feel so blessed because I was given a chance to be part of such an iconic American band known around the world. What more could you ask for?”


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