Musician, Master of theology
Born 5th January 1958 in Kemi, Finland.
Pekka Simojoki is one of the most productive and renowned Christian songwriters in Finland.
He is known particularly for composing contemporary Christian music including several masses, musicals and a great number of very popular songs. He has also started and headed several famous Finnish Christian music groups. His first groups were a folkgroup Alabasteri and an African style choir Jakaranda. Today, he leads the gospel-rock band EXIT and the gospel choir EtCetera. He was first inspired to write music very early on in Namibia, Africa, where he lived with his parents who worked there as missionaries for eight years (1964-1973).
Pekka Simojoki made his first composition in Africa, when he was about 13 years old, but he started to get more serious about it when he met the poet Anna-Mari Kaskinen and started to work together with her in 1979. Their co-operation still goes on and together they have created some of the most beloved Finnish spiritual songs, masses and musicals. The Finnish Lutheran hymnbook includes five songs they have written. Pekka has also worked with several other poets and he writes a lot of texts himself. All in all, he has written more than 700 songs.
Pekka Simojoki has published and edited several different songbooks and has recorded more than 50 albums with different ensembles in Finnish. The albums contain different kinds of religious music from children's songs to rock. The best selling of these recordings have been the so called 'songs of silence?-CDs, which went gold and platinum in 2008. Simojoki's songs have also been translated to other languages and have been published in songbooks and hymnbooks of different churches all over the world. He has published 20 albums in several other languages, as well. A compilation CD of the 'songs of silence' has also been released in English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Estonian, Hungarian, Spanish, French, Russian and Arabic. The newest CD with gospel-praise music is NORDIC PRAISE, which was released in 2014. It was released also in Estonian and Arabic.
At the moment, Pekka Simojoki lives in Kangasala, near the city of Tampere. He works as a freelance artist: he tours with his band EXIT and EtCetera choir. In addition to writing and arranging music, he also performs a lot on his own with his guitar, visits schools and camps, takes part in different events, festivals and seminars etc.
He has also received three different awards for his work during his career. Simojoki has also performed in several other countries including Sweden, Russia, Estonia, Germany, France, Hungary, Romania, Holland, Kosovo, Poland, Austria, Taiwan, Thailand, Canada and Australia.
EXIT is one oldest and best-known groups in Finnish Christian Adult orientated rock music. It was founded in the year 1987 by a group of experienced Christian musicians lead by Pekka Simojoki. This year Exit is celebrating it?s 30th anniversary.
EXIT is known for its catchy melodies and down-to-earth lyrics. Pekka has written most of the songs of Exit, but today the other musicians are involved in the songwriting, as well. In their songs, the band strives to tell the age-old gospel in contemporary language. The sound and style of EXIT has become a concept in Finland. EXIT?s music is popular across different denominations and people of all different ages listen to the band.
The band has had nearly 1000 concerts during its more than 20 years. EXIT has also performed in Estonia, Germany, France, Russia, Sweden, Hungary and Holland. EXIT has published 14 albums in Finnish and a couple of live DVDs. Moreover, EXIT published an English CD 'Writing on the wall' in the year 1995. EXIT in its current standing: Pekka Simojoki, singer Timo Luoto, drums and percussions Matti Puttonen, keyboards, singing Timo Jouppi, bass, singing Jari Levy, keyboards, singing Jarkko Jouppi, guitars, singing Markku Perttilä, guitars, singing
EtCetera is a gospel choir from Riihimäki, Finland, and it consists of about 40 ordinary working and music loving adults from different fields as well as students and stay-at-home parents. The choir is a wonderful hobby and a natural connection to the Christian fellowship. It?s a lifestyle in which ordinary adults want to make their faith a part of their everyday life and use their talent and gifts in God's work. EtCetera strives to spread the gospel and provide its audience with quality music.
The songs of EtCetera are down-to-earth and openly Christian. The songs are mostly written by Pekka Simojoki and Anna-Mari Kaskinen, but EtCetera also sings African music and songs from other Finnish songwriters. In concerts Etcetera is accompanied by a band with drums, percussion, guitars, a bass and keyboards. EtCetera evolved from a parish music group in Riihimäki. In the beginning of the 1990s, the choir was looking for a leader and called Pekka Simojoki who had just decided to give up leading choirs. "I promised to come for six months, but I'm still here," he says more than two decades later. "This is exactly the generation that is missing from our congregations. Through this choir we hope to reach parents with small children and career-oriented adults who may not have found their place in the Christian fellowship."
EtCetera and Pekka Simojoki have released five albums and also performed in Estonia, Germany, Russia, Hungary, Poland, Austria and Namibia.