National Chronicle: American percussionist Madame Gandhi exhorts female artistes to form sisterhood

Cover Image by Pedro D’Allstella
Album artwork by Sara Cifuentes

New Delhi : American percussionist-producer-activist Madame Gandhi says that during the last few months of lockdown, she focused on mental and physical health. Now, she feels empowered to begin 2021 on a strong note.

Talking about her quarantine time, the artiste, who has roots in India, told IANS: “I have been focusing on my mental and physical health. I have been boxing, running, doing yoga, and increasing my commitment to my meditation practice. These moments, to rehabilitate all aspects of my body and soul, have made me feel empowered to tee off a strong 2021 with the new music that is to come.”

On how different her upcoming album “Vibrations” will be from her previous ones — “Voices” and “Visions” — she shared: “This album is a lot more focused on love. It is introspective and more vulnerable. It is expansive and celebrates wellness. It still has the uplifting, percussive feelings of the past two albums, but definitely feels more produced and takes more risk.”

The artiste, born Kiran Gandhi, revently released a new collection of remixes of her 2019 “Visions” track, “Young Indian”.

“I love performing my song ‘Young Indian’ live, but the song in its original format does not lend itself as well to deejaying. Therefore, I knew that I wanted to host a competition where I could have producers help me re-purpose the song into genres that are more appropriate for the dance floor,” she said.

“As a result of this competition, we walked away with Bhangra, Salsa, Reggaeton and Afrobeat remixes that now even the fitness community can work out to,” she added.

Earlier this year, she had joined media mogul Oprah Winfrey on her 2020 Vision Stadium tour. It was a learning experience for Gandhi.

“I learned that the world needs us to each truly shine at our brightest potential. When each of us are living in alignment with our path, not only do we feel a sense of contentment, but we are able to show up in service of others,” she said.

Gandhi is also an activist, who had run the London Marathon bleeding freely on her period in 2015. It had sparked a global conversation about how people treat menstruation in various cultures. Female empowerment is naturally important for her.

If one looks at social media, people will find female artistes being pitted against each other by fans. Asked if that bothers her, she said: “Yes. This is a toxic byproduct of the capitalist and patriarchal system that we globally operate within.”

“As a radical response, I believe sisterhood and mutual support is the most powerful way to combat that.”

By IANs for the National Chronicle