I was asked to lead the inaugural Womyn in Music series at UC Berkeley this past February.
“When Kiran stepped in front of us I was instantly mesmerized by her presence. She spoke about how hectic her life had been while touring with MIA and simultaneously working towards her MBA at Harvard, how trying it was to be a woman in the music industry, and the period that ended up framing her public identity. She encouraged us to make lists of our passions and talents, and find ways to use them to inspire positive changes in the world. She was extremely articulate while taking questions from the audience and saying she is humble is an understatement. She reminded the audience that she had things to learn from us.”
The inaugural speaker event of “Womyn in Music” on Feb. 26, which featured M.I.A.’s touring drummer Kiran Gandhi, was sponsored by the Business Careers in Entertainment Club. Sosis reached out to Kiran Gandhi by messaging her on SoundCloud, and she was pleasantly surprised by her interest in the project. “Something I really like about Kiran Gandhi is that she is both a businesswoman and a musician,” Sosis said. In addition to touring with M.I.A., Gandhi graduated with an MBA from Harvard’s business school last year in addition to running the 2015 London Marathon while free-bleeding.
Gandhi was not afraid to embrace her full self from the moment she stepped into the room. With her charismatic nature, she had the power to make people laugh while simultaneously discussing the unfairness in the music industry. After the interview, there was a jam session — a collaborative experience that had people drumming on chairs, water glasses and anything else that could be used as an instrument.
During the interview, Gandhi emphasized that we all already have tools and passions that can help drive our journey to success. She was against the notion that individual success comes from reverse engineering what other successful people have done to get to the same place. “You can definitely take lessons from other people, but I think the best thing is just to say, ‘I love to do this and I’m going to do it,’” said Gandhi.