Music // Our May Future of Women Breakfast

In February, we launched Future of Women Breakfasts,
a monthly women's breakfast series to elevate women’s voices.


In February, we explored Diversity in Film, in March we talked about Human Rights, Journalism, and Geopolitics, and in April we spoke about Food Entrepreneurship. This month, we gathered at the women-owned design studio in Downtown Los Angeles with 60 women from across the city to talk about Music and Activism and enjoy delicious Ethiopian dishes by Azla Vegan.




We enjoyed dishes by Azla Vegan, a family owned Ethiopian eatery with a mission to bring high quality, delicious food to everyday people. Whether through a hearty vegetable dish, a new mixtape, or a community film screening, Azla exists to help build community and encourage the sharing of stories, new and old. With art and storytelling at our core, Azla Vegan exists to nourish its community on every level. Chef Nes prespared Injera Firfir Ethiopian flatbread mixed and spicy berbere, tomato, and onion, Shimbra Salad massaged kale, pickled onion, curry chickpeas, and dates, Foul Mash mashed fava beans, onion, jalapeño, and lemon, Salad Keysir of marinated beets, quinoa, and basil, Spicy Sweet Potatoes with spicy berbere and garlic, and Curry Brown Rice cranberries and shaved carrots.


We gathered at a woman-owned design studio in Downtown of Los Angeles for a conversation about music and activism. 


Our speakers treated us to live music performances throughout the conversation!


We talked about the music industry, how our speakers supports diverse voices, specifically the female voice, and how they engage their communities through their art. 

Our speakers included three incredible women: 

Kiran, who performs as Madame Gandhi, is an electronic music artist and activist based in Los Angeles. She studied mathematics at Georgetown University and worked as the first ever data analyst at Interscope Records before going on to receive her MBA from Harvard. Having gained recognition as the former drummer for artist M.I.A., and as the viral free-bleeding runner at the 2015 London Marathon, Madame Gandhi now produces music that elevates and celebrates the female voice. In 2016, she released her first EP Voices and in 2017, she toured as the opening act for Ani DiFranco. Madame Gandhi is currently working on her debut full-length album.

Ayo Awosika is a seasoned singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, performer, and voice coach. She has toured the world and shared the stage with or opened for artists such as The Chainsmokers, Dua Lipa, Seun Kuti, Robert Plant, Richie Havens, Peter Eldridge (of the NY Voices), and members of Tower of Power. She is currently a background singer for Miley Cyrus and has performed on The Today's Show, The Tonight Show, Jimmy Kimmel and The Voice, to name a few. A Berklee College of Music graduate, Ayo is a passionate educator with 10+ years of teaching and coaching experience. She has created and curated a number of masterclasses and voice curriculum for private music schools in the US and also has a roster of students across the country. She plans to start a music academy of her own, and in an effort to pay homage to her Nigerian heritage and love of working with youth, and just co-founded an organization that works with young Nigerian women to provide short and long term tools and resources geared toward career and self development.

Natalie Robehmed is an associate editor at Forbes, where she covers media and entertainment. In her free time, she produces electronic music and helps run FeM Synth Lab, a low-cost recurring monthly night in Los Angeles for womxn and non-binary folks to learn how to use hardware and software for music production.  

Future of Women founder, Hallie Applebaum, moderated the conversation.

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Special thanks to Melanie for providing us with a beautiful space, to Marikoko, an interior lifestyle store based in Leimert Park, for sharing their Moroccan carpets with us, to Shreebs Coffee for providing delicious coffee from their Echo Park woman-owned coffee company, to Health-Ade for providing kombucha, to Lyft for providing discounted rides to the breakfast, to Basma for helping behind the scenes, and to Alex Gomez for these beautiful photographs.


See more photos from the breakfast on our social: