Electronic music producer, drummer, artist and activist Madame Gandhi has toured behind the kit for artists including MIA, Kehlani and Thievery Corporation. She made headlines in 2015 when she ran the London Marathon while bleeding freely in order to combat stigmas associated with menstruation. Meanwhile, she’s just released Visions, the second of a two-part project after Voices. We spoke to her prior to her L.A. show about all of this and more…
L.A. WEEKLY: Visions came out in October — have you been pleased with the reaction from fans and critics?
MADAME GANDHI: Yes! My biggest joy is when fans call the music “healing.” For me, music was always a source of strength — it would elevate my mood, and often make me feel really validated. When artists speak truths that I’ve always felt intuitively, it makes me feel heard and empowered. So knowing that I now can do that for my audience through my lyrics and beats brings me a lot of personal gratitude.
This being the second installment of your shortform album, how do the two parts differ? What are the themes?
The first album Voices was about owning your voice and being brave enough to speak your truth even when it is difficult. When I bled freely at the 2015 London Marathon, I was just trying to prioritize my own comfort. I had no intention of starting a viral movement around how we treat menstruation in various cultures. And I learned a lot from that experience and hence themed my album accordingly.
The second album Visions is about looking inward in order to envision your best self outward. So often, we look to external stimuli for happiness or validation. Things like social media, food, stimulants, entertainment. We rarely take the time to meditate, go inward and optimize for our own joy. We have to realize that when we are happy, we are in a position to serve others and make the world a better place. So every song on “Visions” speaks to this concept.
The world is in a mess and it seems to get worse every day — how does that affect the work (how do you keep up)?
I spend time developing my perspectives on various global issues that particularly upset me. I practice expressing my viewpoints on social media and in my public speaking engagements. It allows me to refine and further stand by my opinion. So then, when I feel more committed to an idea or viewpoint, I feel ready to shape the words into lyrics of my songs.
What can we expect from this Echoplex set?
High energy, anthemic drum solos, inspiring ideas on gender liberation, motivation to close out the year strong and a team of extraordinary womxn and gender non-confirming folks of color sharing their experiences of the world through high energy electronic percussive music and joy.
When that’s done, what else do you have coming up?
Rest and then more fitness! I worked so hard on my album, touring and music videos this year, I’m dying to get back to training, being on a normal sleep schedule, eating clean and feeling strong and healthy in my body. Meet me at RVCC Intersect for a coffee, and then onward to CrossFit Rec Center in the Arts District.
Madame Gandhi plays with Jarina De Marco and Milck at 9 p.m. on Tuesday, December 10 at the Echoplex.
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