Meet My Friends: Three Dynamic Creatives

Meet My Friends: Three Dynamic Creatives - Andre Henry, Geoffrey Lessel, and Macha Suzuki

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Three Dynamic Creatives

Welcome to the second installment of my “Meet My Friends” series, where I celebrate the vibrant creativity and fascinating careers of some truly remarkable individuals. Suppose you think of creativity as a kaleidoscope, shifting and turning to reveal brilliant new patterns. In that case, Andre Henry, Geoffrey Lessel, and Macha Suzuki are three artists whose lives and work add vibrant colors and intricate designs to the tapestry of modern expression. Each brings a unique perspective and remarkable passion to their craft, shaping their respective fields in compelling ways.

Andre Henry: The Melodic Revolutionary

Andre Henry

From the heart of Stone Mountain, Georgia, with its shadowy Confederate past, emerges Andre Henry, a creative force armed with powerful insight, vulnerable authenticity, and anthems that blend soulful pop with cinematic flair. Andre’s journey into music and activism seems almost predestined, a natural outgrowth of his roots. With a father who was both a reggae musician and an activist, Andre was steeped in a culture of resistance and expression from a young age.

As a child, Andre was equally inspired by the rebellious spirit of Bob Marley and the historical fervor of the American Revolution, which he would often depict in his drawings. His early performances at his grandmother’s church laid the foundation for his musical journey, where he mastered the piano and guitar.

Andre’s path took a pivotal turn following the tragic killing of Philando Castile. This incident sparked a profound awakening in him, leading him to sever ties with his evangelical roots and embrace a mission to combat racial violence. His unique form of protest—lugging a 100-pound boulder around Los Angeles—was a visceral representation of the burden of anti-Black racism. This act, along with his community organizing and writing, solidified his role as a key voice in the nonviolent struggle for racial justice. His memoir, All the White Friends I Couldn’t Keep, chronicles this transformative journey. I highly recommend reading or listening to Andre’s book. It was one of my go-to Christmas gifts when it came out!

Graduating from the prestigious 1500 Sound Academy and receiving accolades like the “Reach Out and Touch Award” from the ASCAP Foundation, Andre’s work has graced prominent platforms such as The Kennedy Center and Super Bowl LVI. Whether through his books, his music, or his activism, Andre Henry is a beacon of truth and joy, steadfast in his quest to shift cultural paradigms.

Geoffrey Lessel: The Multifaceted Tech Enthusiast

Geoffrey Lessel

In the world of tech and beyond, Geoffrey Lessel stands out as a Renaissance man. For nearly a decade, he was a cornerstone at Planning Center, a company dedicated to serving churches and non-profit organizations with innovative software solutions. He recently left Planning Center to work at a startup called Symbolic AI building tools for professional writing creatives including written publications, on-air news outlets, and newsletter writers. But Geoffrey’s career is far from confined to a single path. His professional journey is a testament to versatility and a zest for new challenges.

Geoffrey’s early career saw him partner in a web hosting company and domain name registrar during the internet’s nascent days. His varied roles have included full-time youth pastor (which is where our lives intersected for a season), real estate investor, and co-owner of a company navigating the real estate crisis with remarkable success. In the tech sphere, Geoffrey is a respected educator and author, known for his work in the Elixir and Phoenix communities. His books, Phoenix in Action and the recently released video course Build It With Phoenix, reflect his passion for teaching and his expertise in building real-time systems.

Beyond his professional achievements, Geoffrey’s personal interests are a whirlwind of creative and intellectual pursuits. A licensed pilot, avid sim racer, musician, and solo tabletop RPG enthusiast, he embodies the spirit of lifelong learning. Geoffrey’s enthusiasm for exploring new skills, whether it’s mastering an audio plugin or delving into the mechanics of a vintage CPU, is infectious. He champions the accessibility of knowledge in the digital age, encouraging others to tap into resources like YouTube and Udemy to fuel their curiosity.

Macha Suzuki: The Sculptural Storyteller

Macha Suzuki

Macha Suzuki’s art is a captivating blend of whimsy and deep insight, a reflection of his journey from Tokyo to Los Angeles. With an MFA in sculpture and a rich educational background in painting and photography, Macha’s work has been celebrated in museums and galleries around the globe. His art defies conventional narratives, weaving real-life experiences with fantastical elements to create pieces that are both amusing and deeply evocative.

Suzuki’s sculptures are more than mere objects; they are intricate tales brought to life. Using images of humans, animals, and inanimate objects drawn from his memories, he crafts scenes that are both exaggerated and obscured, pushing the boundaries of reality to provoke genuine human emotions. His works evoke a spectrum of feelings, from joy and nostalgia to defeat and wonder, often imbuing inanimate objects with human characteristics to enhance their emotional resonance.

Teaching has also been a significant part of Macha’s career, with positions at various institutions culminating in his current role as a Clinical Associate Professor at Loyola Marymount University. His approach to storytelling through art rejects the mundane in favor of captivating, almost surreal narratives that leave viewers yearning for more.


Andre Henry, Geoffrey Lessel, and Macha Suzuki exemplify the power of creativity to transcend boundaries and inspire change. Whether through music, technology, or visual art, their work invites us to see the world through different lenses and embrace the richness of diverse experiences. Their stories remind us that creativity is not just about producing art or innovation; it’s about living with passion, curiosity, and a commitment to making a difference.

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