MANILA, Philippines (AP) — 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."