By Jasmine Bourgeois for Tom Tom Mag
Tom Tom got the chance to chat with some of the artists participating in Always On, a 50-hour livestream with continuous performances from female, transgender, and non-binary artists. We partnered with Moog to present this livestream to highlight the abundance of female, transgender, and non-binary artists creating and performing electronic music and beats around the world. The livestream runs until to 2:00pm ET on December 8, 2017. Check out the artists below and be sure to follow their social media pages!
Kiran Gandhi, also known as Madame Gandhi, is a musician and activist. She’s been playing music since she was four, has played at major music festivals, and has gained notoriety for drumming for M.I.A. Since the start of her career, she has been a vocal advocate for women and femme-aligning people in and outside of the music industry. She released her debut EP, “Voices,” in 2016 and it quickly garnered massive recognition for its emphasis on femininity and unapologetic politicism. She’s a total badass outside of the world of music as well — in 2015 she made headlines for free-bleeding while running the London Marathon and helped make space for open dialogue around menstruation stigma. On top of all of this, she’s a graduate of Georgetown University and Harvard Business School, the latter of which she attended while touring the world with M.I.A. Madame Gandhi is a talented artist and fierce advocate whose goal is to make music that makes people feel good, engage in important conversations, and “elevate and celebrate the female voice.”
“I want to get better at making music because it can make people feel good and affect their moods in that way.”
How did you get into music? How did that progress into electronic music?
I always liked music growing up. I was always playing with the radio and always making mix CDs for friends. I loved going to live shows too. I started DJing and playing drums when I was a teen; by the time I was 24 I was playing with M.I.A; it just started growing and growing, and I realized how powerful music is. It has the power to change the world and influence people. That’s kind of how it shifted into electronic music. I loved the fact that I could bring my drums and my voice to music and innovate something. I think with electronics and synths you can make music you’ve never heard before, which is profound. And at a meta-level I think there’s a deep feminism in women being good at [electronic music] and expressing themselves that way. If only men are good at it then those are the only voices we hear. More women making music electronically is a good way of bringing alternative narratives and stories into the picture.
What is the appeal of electronic music for you?
The flexibility, the ability to innovate sound that no one’s heard, and the ability to make beautiful sounds. I have a new song that’s not released yet and I made a new sound by sampling my voice in a certain way that sounds bright… [and] people’s energy shifts when they hear it; they tell me it makes them feel bright and hopeful. And music does have the power to elevate people. I want to get better at making music because it can make people feel good and affect their moods in that way.
For you, personally, what’s it like to be a part of Always On?
I feel really lucky. I’m going to be part of a cohort of producers who have been doing it much longer than I have. I feel really lucky to be included in the lineup and to be considered alongside so many of the greats and to be proving to the world and showing in a transparent way that at any minute you can tune into anywhere in the world and see women and female-identifying people making music that they’re good at. It’s also combatting the myth that there are no female producers.
Even though I’m American and live in LA, it’s cool that I get to do the livestream in India; I think it’s great that people can be dialing into women producers doing their thing all over the world.