e was born in Montevideo, República Oriental del Uruguay. He studied composition, harmony and piano with Fernando Goicoechea. He is alumnus of literature of the Instituto de Profesores Artigas. He studied composition, orchestra conducting and flute playing at the Escuela Universitaria de Música and studied singing with several teachers, among which María Elba Ferreti stands out. He also took private classes in flute and recorder with Prof. José Rodríguez, and was member of a baroque music quartet led by the same.

In 2008 he entered the ranks of the new generation of tango authors when he was awarded the first prize of the Concurso de Letras Escribirte, which award led him to co-write with the renowned drummer Pocho Lapouble. Since then he has worked with other great composers like: Saúl Cosentino, José Ogivieki, Marcelo Saraceni, Juan Muñiz, Alan Haksten, Esteban Morgado, Ariel Prat, Néstor Basurto, among others.

In 2009 he was finalist of the Festival SADAIC de la Canción in Argentina. The following year he was chosen by the poet Horacio Ferrer to be included in the anthology of tango poetry El libro de oro del tango, which would be published in Spain. During that year he appeared at different venues of Montevideo and Buenos Aires.

In 2011 he was invited by the Dirección de Cultura del Gobierno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires to take part in the colloquium ConectArte: New Tendencies in Tango, as representative of Uruguay in the area of new creators.

In late 2012 he was invited as lecturer to the 1º Festival de Tango de San Telmo and, in early 2013, gave a conference about the new lyrics of tango after an invitation by the Instituto de Profesores Artigas.

He has composed pieces in collaboration with: Héctor Negro, Hugo Salerno, Ernesto Pierro, Martina Iñíguez, Bibí Albert, Marta Pizzo, Adrián Abonizio, Jorge Alastra, and on poems by Raúl González Tuñón, Alfonsina Storni, Gabriela Mistral, Nicolás Guillén, etc.

His lyrics have earned the recognition of greats of the genre like Raúl Garello, Rubén Juárez, Héctor Negro, Lidia Borda, Raúl Luzzi, Roberto Díaz [b], Daniel Piazzolla, Esteban Morgado and María Graña.

He appeared at the Festival de Música Contemporánea (Festival of Contemporary Music) by premiering works by Ulises Ferreti and Diego Legrand, and has shared the bill with Hernán Genovese, Eleonora Barletta, Gabriela Novaro, Marcela Bublik, Tabaré Leyton, Adriana Barreiro, Hernán Cucuza Castiello, Gabriela Morgare, among others.

As singer he has appeared at different venues in Montevideo and Buenos Aires, among which the Academia Nacional del Tango and the Academia Porteña del Lunfardo stand out.

His tangos have been sung and recorded by Carlos Rossi, Virginia Verónica, Gabriel Mores, Eleonora Barletta, Alan Haksten Grupp, Josefina Rozenwasser and La Precaria Sociedad.

Mónica Navarro said about him: «Within tango I’m very much listening to José Arenas. He is one of the new poets who interest me and I like very much. He is better known in Argentina than here (Uruguay)».

Lidia Borda also said: «Here in Uruguay I know José Arenas. He is a very good poet, he follows tradition with the quality of Eduardo Mateo or Fernando Cabrera».

In recent years he has devoted himself also to poetry, and published his first book Fueye hembra in 2014 with editor Milena Caserola. In 2015 he presented his second book of poems as an independent publication: Sofía, el tango y otros desaciertos. The subject matter of the book is concerned with tango and urban themes but quite different from the first one.

He is also devoted to the creation and interpretation of theater scripts and to writing chronicles and commentaries in different portals on the Internet.