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Dave Jenkins

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Exploring Moore Kismet’s unique and beautiful Universe

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Exploring Moore Kismet’s unique and beautiful Universe

The wait is finally over… Moore Kismet’s debut album has finally landed.

Welcome to Universe; a sprawling, hypersonic, technicolour unicorn adventure that’s been five years in the making and features the likes of Tasha Baxter, TYGKO, laxcity, Lunamatic and many more.

Powered by a fusion of hard-hitting dynamic electronic sounds and touching, emotional story-telling, Universe captures where Moore is at in their exceptional journey so-far; as a 17 year old non binary artist who’s already been established for several years and set incredible benchmarks for the new generation and queer community.

A unique story that explores the many challenges Moore and their friends have faced growing up, from homophobia and bullying to finding and celebrating self, Universe lands at somewhat epic point in Moore’s life… Freshly graduated from high school, they now face the most hectic summer of US festival dates you could imagine and have all kinds of future plans ahead. Including the development of Stargazers, an animated series we discussed last time we spoke in August 2020.

Time to reconnect and catch-up over the last two years of Moore’s genuinely unparalleled life and creative universe…

Things have gone even crazier for you since we last spoke!

Yeah it’s been pretty wild for real. I’m glad I was able to finish my last few months of school with little to no distractions from touring. Well… In addition to finishing my album and things like Coachella and EDC and all of that other cool stuff!

It was hard to juggle everything all at once. Very crazy for sure. But now I have more time to do what I want and it’s so much more freeing. I’m just getting idea after idea after idea now I have more head space for that.

I guess you could have quit education your career is so established. You’ve got some incredible discipline to see it through to the end…

I did have those thoughts at some points! I even spoke about it to my mom, but I realised I was already on the last stretch and it would be a shame to stop with such little time left. And I’m glad I did. I made it through with three As, two Bs and a C.

Amazing. Congratulations. And now the album… I love the consistency of it. Even though it was written over five years, you’ve stuck to a palette and it works cohesively. It’s a real album album!

Thank you! Yeah I didn’t want to throw out a bunch of different slappers. I wanted it to sound like a real album, like a body of work. And because of what I produce it’s going to slap anyway. It’s better to tell a story with your production story then use your production style to bring together a bunch of shit you’re not entirely happy with.

Absolutely. I’m guessing that’s the concept of Universe – how it’s all related within one universe of ideas and sounds and inspirations, if you like…

A little maybe, but for me Universe is mainly about my connection to my friends in my life as a musician and as a human being. Meeting people online and connecting through my music has been inspiring. It’s nice to be able to talk to people from all over the world who have different experiences and different production styles and can teach me things or I can teach them things.

I actually came up with the name when I was 11 or 12 but I always hoped I could develop it at a time when I am connected with more people who I can relate to, all over the world and here in LA and make something beautiful with them.

Fast forward a few years and I got to do that with people I’ve worked with in the past like Laxity, new people who I really look up to like Tasha Baxter and pop song writers like Carlie Hanson. It was so inspiring and felt like every facet of the industry came down to help me on this album at some level. It’s been crazy. Like wow. To visualise it now. This is this project. I am here. This is me.

I love that. That sense of connection is strong for you isn’t it? You’ve mentioned your friends and your collaborators straight away… It’s all about the company you keep isn’t it?

The people in my life are so important to me. I care about them so much and they’ve helped me through so much and through experiences that have led to me write certain songs on this album. They’ve helped me through such a huge shift in my life.

You can hear that and you can hear a lot of fun with your friends in the skits and samples on the album, too.

I definitely did. Looking through loads of old video and audio messages that my friends and I made before the pandemic hit and including some of them. We’d hang out every Friday and talk about the show we’re making and enjoy each other’s presence. It was a beautiful thing that the pandemic tore from us and we’re working on getting that back. But it’s beautiful to have friends who are so involved and excited about a project I’ve done before. And it’s very special when I consider how much they have in their lives. It’s something I’m still learning a lot – I’m involved in so many different creative projects on so many different mediums, but I still need to learn how to have my own life.

It’s the impossible balance of being creative. Friends are essential to anchor you!

Exactly. Having them with me is essential and I hope I’m able to do that for friends, too.

Totally. Let’s chat about the music on the album. There’s a real dynamic range in the album and also within each track. One tune that sums things up for me is Vendetta For Cupid – you go from full on rave to hip-hop in 4 minutes!

Wow thank you. That is a very personal song for me and I’m so glad you’ve felt that. I was in a very emotional space at the time when I wrote that and I wanted to get out all that emotion. Hitting you with novacore then hitting you with that explosion at the end of the drop, then going into a hip-hop verse then ending with the part where you wave your flashlights in the air. That to me – having that variety in the production is important to me. I never want any of my songs to sound the same. I want you to make the distinction that it is a Moore Kismet song but also that you know what song it is. I don’t want to rely on the same key principals every time. I want to experiment and do exciting things.

That track description sounds like the stages of grief…

Pretty much. It’s a song about abuse I endured. I started at the point where I was fucking angry and didn’t want to be here and it goes to the point where I’m free and I’m not letting it weigh me down anymore.

Yes, the experience is there. But I don’t have to let it control my life anymore and even TYGKO’s vocals are perfectly fitting. He did such a great job with the brief I gave him. He was also a victim of the same abuser. Him and his entire house were a bunch of different people this person fucked off. So this song was a weight off our shoulders because we had no acceptance off the abuser or apology. We were all part of the same circle she abused.

Oh wow. This is a particular individual. I thought it was more about general internet bullies and hateful stuff online like we’ve spoken about before…

Yeah it’s more specific, but it’s applicable to anyone who’s experienced hate or toxicity in such a way. It’s also a song about love. It cross references love in the way that abuse isn’t love and love is not abuse and a lot of people get hurt because they can’t see that difference. So that song is for anyone who is stuck in a situation like that and understanding it’s wrong and that you have the power to move forward. Things might seem tough, but everyone is much strong than they think they are.

Yes! What other important stories are there to be learnt?

Above everything else, I really wanted to tell people it’s okay to be weird. It’s okay to be who you are – you should never have to hide yourself. Never think, ‘I’m not like them, I have to shelter myself.’ If no one likes you who gives a fuck? As long as you like you.

That’s why everything I make is so loud and experimental and in your face in the right way possible. That’s me. That’s Moore Kismet, that’s Omar Davis. That’s who I’ve been my whole fucking life and I’m not going to change that even if I’m signed to a fancy shmancy record label. This is me. Unapologetically me. And people don’t hear these stories in music very often coming from a queer perspective. So I cover homophobia and bullying in Rumour, blocking out the haters is covered in Ultraviolet. Trying to get over a feeling that someone might be better than you and realising that shit doesn’t matter is covered in Flight Of The Superiority Complex.

Then love – self love, trying to start a relationship or any type of love – is covered in the songs Parallel Heartbreak, Wasteland, Flourish and Autonomy. There are so many songs that you might not be able to tell what the intention is, but when you listen to it, you know. Straight off the bat.

Amazing. The fact it’s released on Pride month. That’s no coincidence is it?

It’s definitely significant. I stressed from the beginning, before I even signed a deal with Universal, that this had to come out during Pride month. It’s such an important month to be a queer person and it makes me so happy to know this is coming out at a point when there is a possibility that everyone will hear it and everyone can connect with the stories I share in the album. It’s written from a queer perspective, I wrote it for me, I wrote it about my own experiences and genuinely hope people in this community can hear it and find it. I feel it has potential to make a positive impact on both the queer community and electronic music in general.

You take that responsibility very seriously don’t you? This isn’t just about you? You’re always looking at a wider picture…

For the most part yeah. There are times when I need help but I do go full force and I’m never going to hold back.

Brilliant. Now you can go full force with your animated series?

Oh for sure! I was working on the pitch bible last night, developing character description and things of that nature. It’s at a point right now where we’re talking about pitching it to networks so it’s very exciting. And if it doesn’t get picked up then we’ll go indie and try and crowdfund it. It’s very exciting – we’re working on the design work, we’re trying to take our sketches and put them into the show’s art style. It’s tricky but it will definitely be worth it if it all works out.

Best of luck with it! So, the album took five years. But I know you’re incredibly prolific… You’ve probably got loads to drop post-album?

I sure have a lot of music! I already have the title and art style ideas for album number two and I’m working on some demos for that. I also have some one-offs that will hopefully be released in between, too. I can’t wait.

Awesome. What else does the world need to know about Moore Kismet, right now?

Nothing really. I’m very excited to share the album, people have been very patient for it and thank you to everyone who’s supported me so far!

Moore Kismet – Universe is out now on Thrive Music

Follow Moore Kismet: Soundcloud / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter

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Moore Kismet

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