Electric Zoo, New York’s premier electronic music festival, closed its 13th year last week, bringing together more than 100,000 fans over three days and more than 100 international artists. I had the opportunity to sit down with one of these artists, Moore Kismet. If you’re unfamiliar with Moore, that’s about to change as their mindset, focus, and high-level creative mind are on their own.
It’s 6 p.m. on the second day of Electric Zoo, just minutes after Moore finished his set on The Landing stage which has also hosted artists like Whipped Cream, Jauz and Diesel. We sit in their green living room and I start with a simple question – “how do you think your set went?” That’s when the Moore Kismet magic begins, and I quickly get a taste of what makes them so special.
First impressions of Kismet Moore
They pause and reflect before responding “I think my set went as well as it could.” It’s Moore Kismet. Throughout our conversation, their unwavering honesty, visceral passion, and reluctance to settle on any aspect of their creative vision was revealed. Moore’s aura was palpable, and I believe they are destined to become a generational talent.
I had just listened to their DJ set thinking it was amazing and very representative of their songs – offering danceable melodies, chaotically clean bass grooves and progressions perfectly suited to pop music.
For most DJs, this was a set it would have been hard not to be satisfied with. Not for Moore, whose seemingly innocent response reveals their harsh inner self-criticism and relentless focus on their musical execution. Whether it’s the music career, the animated television series, or the production company they also work on, there’s no room for complacency, second place, or celebration of success. a performance which they claimed was not the best.
This self-imposed standard is what brought 17-year-old Moore Kismet to concert halls and festival stages around the world, long before he was a legal adult.
It goes further. This is not the story of a teenager who applies the same recipes for success as his predecessors. Meet Moore Kismet, who has taken the electronic music world by storm over the past two years with very hard to find sound design, creative vision and ability to execute musical ideas. It is their essence that compels me to believe how much they will shape the future of not just electronic music, but music as a whole and what it means to be an artist in 2022 and beyond.
It is not an easy path or a manifest destiny. Moore is black and trans and has struggled to balance everyday life, growing up, being a teenager, and the profound challenges that come with musical success. Sometimes everyday life and the feeling of being deformed have become so difficult that just a few weeks ago they tweeted about the possibility of ending the project altogether. But what keeps them going is feeling properly supported, understood, and earning the respect they feel they deserve where they are in their careers.
“The support of the queer community, it’s so wonderful to hear from other queer people, especially queer people in music, who have such unbridled faith in Moore Kismet and me as a creative, to continue to put our community.” -Moore Kismet
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As Moore and I had just met for our interview, it quickly became conversational as Kismet’s real personality is reflected in their music – they are risk-taking, relentless, honest, clear, clean and carry an infectious energy. Their age is usually referenced because it correlates with their age-related accomplishments, but Moore really wants to be asked how they’re doing, how’s life going, – just don’t call them a music artist of low.
“I want to be in my own lane, and sometimes I feel like I’m not really doing a good job if people keep calling me a dubstep artist or a bassist. I am an electronic artist. Call me what I am and respect my music as such. Because otherwise, I’m going to be in a position where I’m not going to want to get out of shit anymore. -Moore Kismet
Kismet Moore’s Music at the Electric Zoo
Their music, although heavy in nature on some songs, dances into a realm beyond standard heavy electronic music. Moore’s take on electronic music, which can be heard on their recent album UNIVERSE, cannot be pigeonholed into a genre tag. In a musical world where artists are commonly categorized as “mixing genres” to try to tell them apart, Moore Kismet is a genre.
Their sound is unique, reminding me of artists who have shaped trends over the years like Skrillex, Kaytranda and now Fred Again, whose sounds transcend fleeting musical trends and introduce musical tropes that are and will become staples for years to come.
Electric Zoo, New York’s premier electronic music festival, brings the best of the best. From sets like G Jones and Eprom that push the boundaries of sound design beyond belief, to headlining sets ripping from genre to genre in DJ Snake, to some of the catchiest bass lines and creative house music at Chris Lake – Moore Kismet’s set was alone. Their creative art is unique. I couldn’t help but think throughout Moore’s set that this was a set that deserved the main stage with pyrotechnics and a real light show. And next year, I hope to see Moore where they deserve to be – in the limelight for new and experienced dance music fans to witness their creative explosion in the medium it deserves – a main stage.
“I want to energize the main stage so people can see me now, regret putting me on in the afternoon, and book me in later. It’s my thing. I want to show people that I’m worth giving that 11-12 midnight slot. I’m worth C02 and pyro, I’m worth the visuals, I’m worth bringing out gigantic pop stars to perform on-stage collaborations with me. I’m worth it all. And I keep making music that shows I’m worth it. -Moore Kismet
Final Thoughts on the Electric Zoo
Electric Zoo hosted one of the most refreshing and compelling musical conversations I’ve had in quite some time. And Moore Kismet is ready to have his conversation with you – through his music, his performances, his possible animated series, his production company, and more.
Music fans everywhere need to hear and accept what one of the most heartfelt, honest and well-meaning artists we have had to say. Check out Moore Kismet’s music and merchandise on their website. Maybe one day we can hear their dream collaboration with Beyonce, Megan Thee Stallion, Adele and Halsey.