Los Angeles-based electronic musician and activist Madame Gandhi (the alias of Kiran Gandhi) has revealed her new single “Top Knot Turn Up,” on which she partners with Brazilian trap artist Ruxell. Madame Gandhi, who first gained recognition as the free-bleeding runner at London’s marathon, released her debut Voices EP in 2017, followed by a remix EP last October. The project tapped womxn producers of color and collaborators including Perera Elsewhere, Suzi Analogue, Shiva, Caleb Stone, TT The Artist, and UNIIQU3.
Madame Gandhi on “Top Knot Turn Up” in her blog HERE and excerpts: “My feminist trap baile funk anthem “Top Knot Turn Up” is OUT finally!!! After a year and a half on and off of hard work I am so grateful to give this as a gift to the queens and queers in my life who know what I mean when I say, “tie your hair up in a bun and get that work done!!The journey with this song started in October of 2016, when I posted a photo of myself rocking out on the drums live at a show in Mexico City for OFFxCDMX Festival, and my friend Derek Auguste who dances for FKA Twigs and others commented, “Top Knot Turn Up”!!!! This concept resonated deeply with me because growing up and through my life I would always have my hair in a bun, so much so that even my parents would get annoyed and ask me to put my hair down every now and then. I would be like…but I’m always doing shit! I might be working or studying or creating or drumming or running or thinking or boxing or speaking…and I never really need my hair in my face, I need my hair tied back so I can focus, not be distracted, and do my thing. And I realized the enormous spiritual power in this metaphor – the idea of us as womxn and femmes tying our hair back so as to reject the expectation that we are supposed to have our hair down and be pretty for the gaze or sexual consumption of others 24/7 – that it is radical to reject this – and to decide when we want to be flirty and have our hair down and loose vs. when we want to tie it back and be in our own energy – there is something deeply symbolic about this that I found many womxn in my life related to”.
Madame Gandhi’s recent solo EP Voices received critical acclaim when her song “The Future is Female” climbed to #8 on the Spotify Top 50 US Viral Charts in the weeks following the Women’s March on January 21st, 2017. LA Weekly praised the release saying: “The five dreamy, deeply layered and electronically infused tracks demonstrate not only her gift of rhythm but also her feminist ideals.”
Having gained recognition as the former drummer for M.I.A. and as the iconic free-bleeding runner combating menstrual stigma at the 2015 London Marathon, Madame Gandhi writes her own electronic music that elevates and celebrates the female voice. Having worked a range of producers including Alexia Riner, a sound designer and graduate of Berklee College of Music, Madame Gandhi creates songs featuring her signature drumming, vocals and percussion, backed by the intricate electronic soundscapes developed by her collaborator.
Raised between New York City and Bombay, India, Madame Gandhi attended Georgetown University where, as a junior, she landed a weekly gig drumming with DJs from Thievery Corporation at their legendary nightclub, Eighteenth Street Lounge. Later she toured with them at Bonnaroo 2010 and Virgin Mobile Fest. In 2013, she linked up with M.I.A and toured the world as her drummer on the Matangi Album Tour. After graduating from Harvard’s MBA program in 2015, Madame Gandhi spent the next year traveling the world to write and speak about menstrual stigma. She’s spoken at TEDx, Women Deliver, MOMA NYC, Form Fest and most recently at Advertising Week.
Madame Gandhi has been praised by publications varying from New York Times, Vogue, BUST, Rolling Stone to FADER, Vice, i-D, and Cosmopolitan for her eclectic sound and unwavering dedication to human rights and the female voice. Live she’s graced the stages of major festivals like Pitchfork Festival, FADER Fort @ SXSW, Roskilde, and Indio’s Mothership Women’s Festival and Retreat.
Madame Gandhi Live
Fri 7.13 – Chicago, IL @ Taste of Chicago
Sat 7.14 – Chicago, IL @ Ace Hotel (DJ Set)
Thu 7.19 – Dawson City, Yukon, CAN @ Dawson City Music Festival
Fri 8.24 – Boston, MA @ The Institute of Contemporary Art
Apple Music: goo.gl/VfNUAj