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About Madame Gandhi

Los Angeles-based performer Kiran Gandhi, aka Madame Gandhi, is a singer, percussionist, and activist known for her electronic-based sound and feminist point of view. A native of New York City, Gandhi grew up in an upwardly mobile, socially minded immigrant family, the daughter of an investment banker and CEO of a non-profit. During her youth, she attended the all-girls Chapin School in Manhattan and traveled often between New York City and Bombay, India. It wasn't until age 12, while attending summer camp in Maine, that she first became seriously interested in music after discovering a drum set. Although she kept pursuing music, she eventually shifted her focus toward politics and began studying Political Science, Mathematics, and Women's Studies at Georgetown University. It was while at Georgetown that Gandhi's interests in music and politics fused after discovering that boundary-pushing electronic duo Thievery Corporation had organized a protest over the closing of a local homeless shelter.

Inspired by the possible synergy between music and social activism, she sought out an internship at the small Rhythm & Culture record label. She also found herself on-stage playing shows with Thievery Corporation, including an appearance at Bonnaroo in 2010. Other internships followed and after graduating college, Gandhi was hired as the first digital analyst at Interscope Records in Los Angeles. While at Interscope in 2013, she managed to get her drumming audition video into the hands of forward-thinking, politically minded rapper/electronic artist M.I.A., who then invited her to join her band on tour. Around the same time that Gandhi was preparing to hit the road with M.I.A., she was also accepted into Harvard Business School's MBA program. Subsequently, she spent the next few years juggling playing shows around the world with M.I.A. and taking classes. In 2015, she graduated from Harvard with her M.B.A. That same year, she grabbed headlines for running the London Marathon while on her period without wearing a tampon to raise awareness about period shaming and for women who do not have access to feminine hygiene products around the world.

Also around this time, she began working on music under the stage name Madame Gandhi, while Alexia Riner -- a Berklee College of Music graduate in sound design -- became a key contributor to the project, providing electronic soundscapes and co-production. In 2016, she released her debut EP, Voices, featuring guest appearances from Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs and Alt-J guitarist Joe Newman. ~ Matt Collar

  • ORIGIN
    New York, NY
  • BORN
    1989

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