Kiran Gandhi is a Los Angeles-based musician, feminist activist and music industry thinker with an MBA from Harvard. She has toured professionally drumming for M.I.A and Thievery Corporation and currently produces electronic music under her own project called Madame Gandhi. She also advises music companies Spotify, Stem, Bonnaroo and D’addario. She is perhaps most well-known for running the London Marathon bleeding-freely to combat period stigma around the world, sparking a global viral conversation about how we treat menstruation in various cultures. Her goal is to combine her intellectual and musical talents in order to re-imagine a music industry that is healthier for women and girls around the world.
Kiran grew up between New York City and Bombay, India, playing drums and attending The Chapin School. She graduated from Georgetown University in 2011 with a double major in mathematics and political science and a minor in women’s studies.
Upon graduation, she landed a job in Los Angeles as Interscope Records’s first-ever digital analyst. Combining her passion for mathematics and music, her job was to understand music consumption patterns on Spotify and YouTube, predict sales trends based on these new volume metrics and create an internal system for how the label could understand the success of an artist online.
In 2013, Kiran linked up with Grammy-nominated artist M.I.A. and began touring internationally with her as her drummer all across North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America. That same year, Kiran was also accepted to Harvard Business School’s M.B.A. program, and so when she began school in the fall in Boston, was still touring simultaneously with M.I.A. Kiran’s TEDx talk on “Atomic Living”embodies her belief that by knowing and protecting the things that matter to you most, life’s toughest choices become easier to navigate.
Most recently, she spent a summer advising Spotify on how to provide more innovative support for creators today. She won GrammyU’s annual summer Business Plan Competition by proposing a viable pay structure for a streaming service that would appease labels and artists alike, and writes for various media outlets about trends she observes in the music industry.
As an activist, Kiran partners with menstrual health organizations Binti Period and Thinx to improve women’s access to affordable and safe menstrual care. She speaks often about how menstruation taboo affects women and girls daily around the world, and is currently working to eliminate the “luxury tax” on tampons that still exists in several states today.
Recently a business school graduate, Kiran is working on her solo music project called Madame Gandhi and working on two freelance consulting projects to improve gender equality in the music industry. She is also currently an Artist-In-Resident at Stem Disintermedia, Inc.in Los Angeles.