Call him Mcrïsto: On campus artist


Caleb Geer

Masumo Mwenyi, released his new EP, titled “Suffocate,” on Oct. 7

by Caleb Geer, Editor-in-Chief

For some, music is something that is only consumed and listened to. For others, it is a creative outlet and a way to express their true selves through an art form they love.

Masumo Mwenyi is a junior from Des Moines who is majoring in computer information systems and history with a minor in theatre. Below the surface of the extremely chill exterior of the Kresge CA (Community Advisor) is a musical artist who continues to build and craft both his image and sound.

Mwenyi noted the foundation of his growth in music comes from his family. “We did a lot around music, we made some fun songs together, we sang all the time, so it’s kind of a happy spot for me and my family.”

Joining various choirs and bands when he was younger helped contribute to his growth in music, but working in his brother’s band made the biggest difference in his journey because it gave him the ability to write songs which led to more self-discovery. “I was like, ‘I’m actually pretty good at writing songs,” he said.

It took him some time to realize the potential he held in the craft, however, saying he did not start taking it seriously until about 2017. 

“I love the process of getting the idea and writing it down,” he said. Over time he found he had a talent that matched his love for music.

At Simpson College, he found people like the Associate Dean of Students, Rich Ramos, who both offered encouragement and wanted to foster Mwenyi’s creativity. Mwenyi credits Ramos for being able to use the space he records in and for helping him obtain specific editing software.

As songs he made started to pile up, he admitted that sharing his work was frightening at first. “I had written so many songs and I kept them to myself, partially because I was scared of sharing them to other people because people might hate you or like you,” he said.

Against his initial fears, Mwenyi began to release his music under the artist name Mcrïsto, dropping “Mirror” as his first single. Positive feedback provided the encouragement he wanted. “Since I shared the first song and I got so many people to be like, ‘yeah, I can relate in some way to this song,’ that has given me so much motivation.”

While he continues to release music, he emphasizes to listeners that the messages in his songs are theirs to find on their own. “People who listen to my music can take whatever meaning they want out of the songs,” Mwenyi said. “It’s very deep and very important. I spent a lot of time working those ideas in there.” 

Mwenyi released his most recent work, the “Suffocate” EP, on Oct. 7, which includes four new songs. “From the first song to the last song, it’s sort of this rollercoaster of happy moments, but maybe not happy moments…It was very exciting releasing it because it’s very abstract and mysterious, but very important to me.”

In the future, Mwenyi plans to continue to release music frequently, with only a few songs at a time.