Madame Gandhi (real name Kiran Gandhi) spent years drumming for M.I.A. before striking out on her own and releasing her solo debut EP Voices last year. The EP has appearances by tUnE-yArDs leader Merrill Garbus and alt-J singer Joe Newman, and it showcases Kiran's soulful singing and speak-rapping over forward-thinking music that mixes glitch, electronic dance music, indie pop, rock, and more. Kiran is as much an activist as she is a musician, and that comes through in the music too. She incorporates her ethnic pride with the bit of traditional Indian music on "Moon in the Sky," and her strong feminist message comes across in the lyrics, particularly on closing track "The Future Is Female." Kiran talked to FADER about that song:

We live in a world where people say all the time, "Don't be such a pussy." Or, "Don't hit like a girl." "Don't be so girly.” In doing that, what we're explicitly saying is that male qualities are desirable and female qualities are undesirable. And that's the worst thing you can do.

In my mind, "the future is female" means that no longer will female qualities be subordinated to male qualities, and that instead we will live in a world where we recognize that each of us have a mix of biologically female-influenced and biologically male-influenced traits. And how beautiful and how lucky we are to possess both. I want to live in a world where instead of teaching those girls to be more like the boys and hit stronger and run faster, we actually encourage the boys to be more like the girls. Be more caring, be more thoughtful, be more emotionally intelligent, be more specific about your choices.

We have only had 19 female presidents or prime ministers in modern [world] history, and thus we have very little data as to what female leadership even looks like when given space to blossom. I don’t want to live in a society that is destroying itself, I want to live in a society led by someone who will do what is best for her people.

To me, when I say, “the future is female,” it doesn’t mean one gender is superior than the other, it means that we will one day live in a world where we deeply value female energy, where we value the contribution of the female archetype so much so that we need it to survive and thrive as a society. I want to live in a world where we say to anyone, regardless of their gender or lack thereof, “you are girly” as a compliment.

Madame Gandhi has live dates coming up, including Chicago's Pitchfork Festival, the Philly edition of Project Pabst, and a handful of NYC shows.

She's moderating the 'Women’s March on Washington and Activism in the Hip-Hop Age' panel at 3:15 PM on July 12, which is part of the Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival (tickets). She plays Basement Bhangra's free 20th anniversary show on August 6 at Central Park SummerStage with Apache Indian, Panjabi MC, DJ Rekha, Anik Khan, Horsepowar, Sikh Knowledge, J Petra and DJ Shilpa. And finally (for now), she plays MoMA's Summer Thursdays series on August 24. All MoMA Summer Thursdays shows go from 6:30-9 PM and are included with museum admission.

All Madame Gandhi dates are listed, with a stream of the Voices EP and the video for "Her," below.

Madame Gandhi -- 2017 Tour Dates
7/8 Play Like a Girl at The Echo Los Angeles, CA
7/12 13th Annual Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival Brooklyn, NY
7/14 Pitchfork Festival Chicago, IL
7/21 "The Future Is Female" (Talk at Wanderlust Music Festival - 10am) Lake Tahoe, CA
7/22 Wanderlust Music Festival (Squaw Valley - 11pm) feat. Bibi of Beyoncé Lake Tahoe, CA
8/6 SummerStage in Central Park New York City, NY
8/24 Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) New York, NY
9/16 Project Pabst Day Festival at The Electric Factory Philadelphia, PA
10/13-15 Mothership Women's Festival and Retreat Indio, CA
11/16-18 Emerge LV Las Vegas Strip

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