It’s clear right away that Kiran Gandhi is an “always-on artist.” We’re sitting down with the drummer/singer/electronic musician/businesswoman at Ableton’s Loop conference, and as she reflects on the acoustics of the outdoor tent where we’re recording, she sings an impromptu recording into her phone. There’s even a lyric reminding her to write about tents.

The tone is set for our whole conversation: as Kiran longs for a higher-fidelity phone microphone, technology alone can’t keep pace with her spontaneity.

By now, Kiran’s story as a radical polymath has made its way around the creative web – not least of which thanks to her TEDx talk about “Atomic Living” (above). As Madame Gandhi, Kiran’s music is electronically processed and arranged but heavily reliant on (and sourced from) the human voice, and human drumming. In our interview, she addresses this balance – you can hear it in musical form in a recent Madame Gandhi track, the intimate “Wazey”:

For a visual look at Kiran’s music, here’s a taste of her drumming with M.I.A.:

After a number of years spent working with others – whether it be her consulting clients or musicians – Kiran seems to be honed in on her own voice now. In person, she was almost overwhelmed with ideas. With a debut Madame Gandhi album and associated performances in the works, it feels like this will be something big – for her, and also for listeners and the landscape in which she’s releasing her music. Based on the music and ideas that we’ve gleaned from her, we’re excited to see what these next steps look like.



We proudly welcome David Abravanel in his first byline of CDM – more to come. -Ed.

Disclosure: This interview is presented with support from Ableton.