Madame Gandhi is back with a new single, sharing the enraptured “Crystals & Congas” just before she’s set to take the stage at this year’s PrideFest in Oakland, CA next month. At its core, the track is a self-meditative attempt by the artist and activist to consolidate the ways in which she arrives at personal healing. “I cannot stand my energy drainin’ / Light up some incense, do meditation,” she sings against scattered afro beats and lush instrumentals. “Ten minutes later, I stop complainin’.”
Everything about “Crystals & Congas” is tailored towards being kinetically soothing to the soul, all its sublime saxophone calls, rhythmically rapid percussion, and Madame Gandhi’s own healing words. While the lyrics try to explain how and why the artist sees such spiritual, mental, and physical housekeeping as important. “I want to be the best I can be,” she raps over the patter of congas, not just for her own self-betterment but also for the people around her that she loves.
Empathy is a crucial part of “Crystals & Congas” but also of Madame Gandhi’s entire persona. She’s released the first two of her three-part electro-feminist solo EP series, which include her debut EP Voices and a few years later Visions. She is an outspoken supporter of fourth-wave feminism, modern gender equality, and menstrual care access, channeling her passions through not just her music but also as a speaker: she gave a TED Talk entitled “Own Your Voice” in 2018.
“The original file name of the beat was entitled ‘Crystals & Congas’ and so I wanted to honor that and shape the theme of the song around those healing modalities that helped me tremendously in the pandemic: meditation, nature, music, and personal healing. The lyrics reflect lessons I have learned that allow me to walk as a kinder, more empathetic, more peaceful person on the planet. My hope is that when my audience sings back these lyrics they experience them as mantras that clear the mind, call in more love, and inspire more service.”
Words by Steven Ward
Listen to Madame Gandhi’s new single “Crystals & Congas” below!