"Passion for diversity" -these three words describe Joakim Arenius best, according to an interview with his former employer in New York, NY. "He dedicates his musical and lyrical gifts with the same commitment whether he works with symphony orchestras or funky club music. But the music and the message of gospel music is always closest to his heart."
Joakim Arenius served as choir director, composer, music producer and artist since the early 90’s. He started singing in Joybells (gospel choir since 1963) 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 who share Joakim’s desire to spread the music and the message of gospel beyond the usual musical expectations.
With ”Gospel Journey”, www.gospeljourney.se, Joakim offer choirs the opportunity to travel and experience gospel in other countries. He organizes tours to New York, Madrid, St Petersburg and more.
Joakim conducts SVART PÅ VITT, known for regular collaborations with Edwin "Oh Happy Day" Hawkins, Karlskoga Gospel Choir and Mosjökören.
During 2000-2001 he was music minister in New York, NY, and founded Salem Outreach Singers. Since 2003 he has been working with Creative Kirche from Germany who manages his work as workshop leader. 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 and Belarus is a major part of his work.
Joakim arranged 13 gospel songs for the Swedish Chamber Orchestra in 2009. This repertoire was performed again with orchestras from Russia and Belarus.
He directed the classical choir ”Primula Veris” between 2014-2018. As a music producer he is influenced by old school sounds as well as modern dance beats. 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.
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.
Read the calendar history to learn about Joakim's prior commitments.