Arnel spearheads biggest Asian band tilt
Kap Maceda Aguila (The Philippine Star) - November 4, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - In the final analysis, it’s all about giving back.

That’s what Journey frontman Arnel Pineda wants to keep doing. Pineda struggled mightily to make a living in Manila before landing a coveted spot in the iconic band, and aims to give a leg up to aspiring Asian bands with the debut of his so-called Asian Music Camp (AMC).

Staged in cooperation with Rene Walter and Laura Sanchez of Sanre Entertainment, the AMC is a multi-phase talent search that begins with online submissions and ends with a reality TV show.

Walter, Sanre CEO, recently said at the AMC’s formal launch that conceptualization has taken all of three years, and that it presents opportunities to Asian musicians — not only for the eventual winners.

“Right now, somewhere in the world, there are four or five people in a room, playing music, looking for hope for their dream to come true,” declared Walter. For his part, Pineda insisted that the AMC gives a chance to aspiring musicians to fulfill their dreams and be “exposed on the global stage.”

The champion band will take home a grand prize package of cash, a record contract and a management contract valued up to $1M, plus mentorship from “music industry professionals.”

During the preliminary round, 50 bands will be chosen based purely on the number of votes they get. The next round, the qualifying round, the 50 bands will submit another original piece of music via a raw music video. Voting will again determine positioning; the Top 20 advance to the semi-finals. The Top 20 bands will be halved after they submit another original piece which voters will decide on online.




The Top 10 bands will then star in the season premiere of the Asian Music Camp, where they will perform live. Voting ensues again to determine the Top 5.

From here, it gets even more interesting. Asian Music Camp kicks into “reality show” gear as the remaining bands enter a compound in the Philippines. They will be on camera “constantly, at work, at play and (while) creating music.”

Pineda hinted that there will be a performance stage at the center of the residential compound. One can safely surmise a sort of Big Brother element, injected with equal parts drama, music and the pressure of musical competition.

Pineda and Walter promise that the panel of judges and musical mentors will be composed of “iconic music personalities.”

“It’s important to us that the judges are unbiased, and come from different cultures,” maintained Walter, and added that all genres of music are welcome — be it jazz, rock, traditional, pop or whatever. A “band” may be comprised of a minimum of two members upwards.

“Think of the Top 3 biggest bands in history. Someone from (any of those) bands will be involved (in mentorship),” Walter told The STAR.

“The opportunity is at any level — from products highly produced or raw. At the end of the day, the public knows what is quality, what is professional. True talent will prevail,” declared the Sanre CEO. It must be noted that AMC wants the cover song a band submits to be its own take on the original.

Pineda, who established his Arnel Pineda Foundation, Inc. for street kids to “give back to his community in gratitude for the blessings bestowed upon him,” sees the Asian Music Camp as an “an extension of this desire to help others achieve their dreams.”

This should prove to be compelling television as well.

(Starting Jan. 1 next year, bands are invited to send in a raw music video of two demos — one original and one cover — not exceeding eight minutes for both songs on Voting will commence that day and will end on March 31, 2015.)


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