About

Joakim

Arenius

 

Biography

 

Joakim Arenius has served as choir director, composer, music producer and artist since the early 90’s. He started singing in Joybells, Europe’s oldest gospel choir, at the age of 16, and became the choir’s director ten years later. In 2004 he founded Praise Unit -a group of singers and musicians from various backgrounds and different parts of Sweden who shares Joakim’s desire to spread the music and the message of gospel beyond the usual expectations.

 

Before Praise Unit Joakim was involved in many kinds of music, but the love of gospel was always the main inspirational source. He was trombone player in the church brass band, tried a few years in a heavy metal band, then played the classical guitar until he became rapper and guitar player in a funk band. During a visit to Los Angeles in 1993, his life changed as he acknowledged God's calling to work with gospel music.

 

During 2000-2001 he was music minister in New York City and founded Salem Outreach Singers. Since 2003 he has been working with Creative Kirche from Germany who manages his work as workshop leader in the german speaking countries. Joakim speaks spanish, which has been helpful since he started working with the spanish gospel choirs in 2008. Gospel Music Workshop of America has invited Joakim to teach his songs at several occasions, and also recorded his music. Joakim is continually networking with churches, artists and choirs in many parts of the world. Since 2010 the establishing of gospel music in Russia is a major part of his calling..

 

Through ”Gospel Journey”, www.gospeljourney.se, Joakim offers the opportunity to travel and experience gospel in other countries. The first trip went to New York in March 2016. ”Gospel Journey” also serves as a local choir in Joakim’s hometown, Örebro.

 

Diversity has always been a trademark for Joakim. He arranged 13 gospel songs for the Swedish Chamber Orchestra in 2009. He directs the classical choir ”Primula Veris” since 2014. As a music producer he is influenced by old school sounds as well as modern dance beats. Both kids choirs and senior choirs have sung his songs, and he works with both famous artists and aspiring amateurs.

 

In October 2016 he released "Be The Plan", a Praise Unit CD with 13 new songs and 50 guest artists from 11 different countries.

 

Read the calendar history to learn about Joakim's prior commitments.

History

 

 

- Worked with, and/or shared the stage with Kirk Franklin, 
Kurt Carr, Andrae Crouch, Edwin Hawkins, Walt Whitman, Rickey Grundy,
 Hezekiah Walker, the Thompson Community singers, Carol Cymbala and many others.

 

- Leader of Praise Unit since 2004, and producer of "Whole", "The Mission Field", "Christmas" and "Be The Plan".

 

- Composer of the songs from ”Now and here”, ”Inspired”, "My favorite Joybells songs" and "My favorite gospel songs", four workshop books with CD's released and published by Creative Kirche.


 

- Producer of several CD’s from different countries, including ”Tal como soy” with Gospel Gloria from Spain and ”This is the way” with Norwegian Gospel Voices from Norway.

 

- Arranged 13 songs for gospel choir and orchestra that were performed by 
Praise Unit and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra and conducted by Joakim 
Arenius. 


 

- Mass choir director at Gospel Kirchentag in Bochum 2004, Dusseldorf 2006, Hannover 2008, Karlsruhe 2010, Dortmund 2012, Kassel 2014 and Braunschweig 2016, directing a choir of 5000 singers.

 

- Advisor and instructor to the first gospel choirs of Russia.

 

- Guest professor at Lancaster Bible College in Lancaster, PA, USA, during 2014. Mainly teaching composition and arranging for worship bands. Also director of the worship choir.

 

- Director of Joybells between 1996-2004.

 

- Honorary member of Coro Gospel de Madrid.

 

- Initiator of the Urban Youth Choir Festival in Örebro, Sweden, a VOICE project.


 

- Several USA tours with Praise Unit, Joybells and several German groups.

 


- Directing and recording his song "All the time" with the young adult choir
 at Gospel Music Workshop of America in Nashville, TN, USA, 2008, and again "We pray" with the GMWA mass choir in Tampa, FL, in 2011.


 

- Nominated for "Nerikes Allehandas kulturpris" in 2009, an award that goes
 to a local artist for his or her cultural achievements in Sweden.


 

- Three times choir director and instructor at Campamente Toral, the biggest gospel
music camp in Spain.

 

- Teaching ”Urban Gospel” to the international Europa Cantat festival in Torino 2012.


 

- Producer of four CD's with Joybells, where he arranged and produced music
 for featured guests Jerry Williams, Björn Skifs, Robert Wells, Nanne
Grönvall, LaGaylia Frazier, Jessica Andersson, Magnus Bäcklund, Anna
 Sahlene, Anders Ekborg, Anne-Lie Rydé and others.

 


- Founder and original director of Salem Outreach Singers from New York, NY, USA.


 

- Director of German Gospel Choir and composer of "Time to celebrate"
title track of the GGC CD.


 

- Instructor at many festivals, like Stockholm gospelchoir festival, Aarhus
 gospel festival, Gospeltime Dusseldorf, Soul Children festival in Oslo,
 Swinging Hannover, PoGo and others.


 

- Author of five musicals performed by students from Karolinska school of
 performing arts, Örebro, Sweden.


Discography

 

Joakim Arenius & Praise Unit with friends "Be The Plan" (2016)

 

Joakim Arenius & Praise Unit "Christmas"(2014)

 

Joakim Arenius "Now And Here" (2014) -Songs for gospel choir workshops

 

Joakim Arenius "Inspired" (2010) -Songs for gospel choir workshops

 

Joakim Arenius & Praise Unit "The Mission Field"(2009) -featuring Samuel Ljungblahd, Ole Børud, David Thomas, Sammy Planes, Miriam Gardner

 

Joakim Arenius "Eleven Offers" (2008) -compilation of gospel songs written by Joakim Arenius, features Praise Unit, Joybells, German Gospel Choir, The Tribute Singers, american Grammy nominee Sarah Kelly

 

Joakim Arenius "My favorite gospel songs" (2008) -Songs for gospel choir workshops, contains the same songs as "Eleven offers"

 

Joakim Arenius & Praise Unit "The Whole Tour"(2007) -DVD recorded live in Minden, Germany

 

Joakim Arenius & Praise Unit "Whole" (2006)

 

Joakim Arenius "My favorite Joybells songs" (2005) -Songs for gospel choir workshops

 

Joybells "What A Wonderful World" (2004) -choir director, arranger, producer

 

Joybells "Oh Happy Day" (2002) -choir director, arranger, producer

 

Joybells "Having Church" (1998) -choir director, arranger, producer together with Moh Denebi

 

Joybells "Live In Germany" (1996) -choir director, arranger, producer together with Hans-Werner Scharnowski, Magnus & Anki Spångberg

 

 

Featuring on:

 

 

"A Mighty Fortress" -Joakim's contemporary gospel arrangement of "Ein Festeburg Ist Unser Gott" by Martin Luther, scheduled to be released for Gospel Kirchentag 2016

 

Norwegian Gospel Voices "This Is The Way"(2014) -features two songs by Joakim Arenius "This Is The Way" & "Release It", plus two songs by Joakim Arenius and Kristin Minde "My God" & "Pray Again", produced by Joakim Arenius and Tobias Grenholm

 

Gospel Gloria "Tal Como Soy" (2014) -spanish gospel produced together with Sergio Martin Zamora

 

First Baptist Church, Odessa, Texas "Greatly to be praised" (2013) -features "A Joyful Noise" by Joakim Arenius, arranged for choir and orchestra by Bradley Knight

 

Ruts Bok (2013) -A musical written by Lennart Edberg, arranged, recorded and produced by Joakim Arenius

 

Oslo Soul Teens "Victory" (2012) -features two songs composed by Joakim Arenius and Pelle Ankarberg, "Let God Be God" & "If Nobody Likes You"

 

Chris Lass & Excited "The Gospelogical Argument" (2010) -features on "I Will Bless Him"

 

Hosanna "Otro Lugar" (2009) -features on "Jesus Quien Rescata Mi Vida"

 

Best of Gospel (2008) -a compilation of 20 years of gospel music in Europe, features "A Joyful Noise"

 

New Gospel Voices (2007) -compilation of contemporary gospel artists, features "Fingerprints" from "Whole"

 

German Gospel Choir "Time To Celebrate" (2007) -features "Time to celebrate" and Joakim's arrangement of "Oh when the saints"

 

Joybells "Joy And Praise" (1994) -choir member

 

Joybells "I Won't Turn Back" (1992) -choir member

Songbooks

 

 

Joakim Arenius "Now And Here" (2014) -Songs for gospel choir workshops

 

Joakim Arenius & Praise Unit "Christmas, Red" & "Christmas, Green" (2014)

-taken from Joakim Arenius & Praise Unit "Christmas"

 

Norwegian Gospel Voices "This Is The Way"(2014) -features two songs by Joakim Arenius "This Is The Way" & "Release It", plus two songs by Joakim Arenius and Kristin Minde "My God" & "Pray Again", produced by Joakim Arenius and Tobias Grenholm

 

Joakim Arenius "Inspired" (2010) -Songs for gospel choir workshops

 

Joakim Arenius & Praise Unit "The Mission Field"(2009)

 

Joakim Arenius "Eleven Offers" (2008) -compilation of gospel songs written by Joakim Arenius, features Praise Unit, Joybells, German Gospel Choir, The Tribute Singers, american Grammy nominee Sarah Kelly

 

Joakim Arenius "My favorite gospel songs" (2008) -Songs for gospel choir workshops, contains the same songs as "Eleven offers"

 

Joakim Arenius "My favorite Joybells songs" (2005) -Songs for gospel choir workshops

 

Joakim Arenius & Praise Unit "Whole" (2006)

Reviews

 

About "Be The Plan", CD released in October 2016:

 

The Phantom Tollbooth: "The album continues to get more and more interesting as it progresses and ends up being a solid soul/funk/jazz/gospel experiment…"

(full review)

 

Världen idag: "Another masterpiece"

 

Dagen: "An inspiring comment to what's going on in the world"

 

 

About "Christmas", CD released in November 2014:

 

Glowing Vibe: "It's never half measures with Praise Unit!"

 

Nerikes Allehanda: "Funky versions that can not be compared to anything!"

 

 

About "The Mission Field", CD released in September 2009:

 



Nerikes Allehanda (5 stars):
 "It's impossible to sit still while listening!"

 



Crossnet.se (5 stars) :
"They keep lining up excellent soul, funk, jazz, latin and gospel songs. 
The groove is what keeps the songs together!"



 

Dagen:
 "You can not listen too many times to these tracks!"



 

Indrag.se:
 "Lots of energy throughout the whole CD!"



 

Ikon1931: 
"It's a pleasant listening experience!"



 

 

About "Whole", CD released in August 2006:



 

Smålandstidningen (5 stars):
 "A masterpiece!"



 

Nerikes Allehanda (4 stars):
 "This mixture of modern soul, funk and contemporary gospel is instantly
 appealing!"



 

Sundsvalls tidning:
 "This is the succesful combination of Joakim's past as funk musician and
 gospel director!"

 



Trots allt:
 "Melodies and a groove that never disappoint you!"

 

 



About "The Whole Tour", DVD released in June 2008, recorded live in
 Minden, Germany:



 

Ikon1931:
 "It's incredibly fresh!"



 

Dagen: 
"Simple, yet efficient coreography which is very inspiring!"



 

 

About "Classical gospel", the collaboration between Joakim Arenius, Praise
 Unit and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra:

 



Nerikes Allehanda (5 stars):
 "The merge of genres reaches impressing qualities!"



 

About "Eleven offers", CD compilation with songs written by Joakim Arenius 
and recorded by Joybells, Sarah Kelly, Praise Unit, German Gospel Choir
and others, released in May 2008:

 



Trons värld:
 "You have to surrender to the capacity of Arenius' songwriting and admit
 that this is the best gospel music of Sweden!"



 

Crossnet.se:
 "There is only one problem. I want more!"

Photo by Ivan Troyanovskij

 

 

 

 

 

 

Design by Ton & Kang