(Photos by Brandon Densley)

At 18, Moore Kismet is making queer waves through EDM

RICH LOPEZ | Staff writer

In the past few months, Moore Kismet has had a rollercoaster of a career. The nonbinary pan musician dropped their first album, Universe, late last year, which led to a number of festival appearances — including this weekend’s Ubbi Dubbi Festival. Videos and singles and a new show on SiriusXM followed, making for what could be a landmark year for Kismet.

“I’m excited for any opportunity right now,” they said recently. “I’ve just been trying to rock out as much as I can.”

Kismet will perform in the Sunday, April 23, lineup of the festival which takes place at Panther Island Pavilion in Fort Worth. Now in its fourth year, the electronica dance music festival is presented by Disco Donnie and opens Saturday with a lineup featuring more than 40 artists and musicians including Kismet, Kaskade, Liquid Stranger, Jessica Audiffred, queer DJ Rezz, Zomboy and others.

“We’re thrilled to bring back Ubbi Dubbi to Panther Island Pavilion, and this lineup is going to be rowdy,” Disco Donnie said in a press release. “Can’t wait for you to see all that we have in store for this year.”

Kismet is ready for their show and very glad that it’s not in the middle of the Texas summer heat. Their last time playing Texas was in Austin, and the heat was blistering. Kismet almost didn’t finish their set.

“I played Austin (and Dallas) last year, and it was just so hot, and I almost fainted from it onstage,” they said. “That was really crazy, so I am glad to get back to Texas earlier in the year.”

That was hardly a setback for the teen. Before they released Universe, they were already making headway into the EDM music scene. And Kismet was also finding that there weren’t many other Black queer musicians within the genre.

“There isn’t much of a space right now for us in EDM, but I don’t think I’m paving anything either,” Kismet said. “I’ve been so fortunate to find the right people and queer artists who have helped me learn more.”

They have a very philosophical take on it as well. Kismet only wants to be themselves, and with them comes their queer and Black identities. The rest will follow.

“I feel like me being me is doing something, and, at some point, it will visibly help create that space for us,” they said.

Kismet’s live show sounds more like an experience than, say, a concert. Their description of their own show runs the gamut: “It’s more a DJ set, but it’s experimental and aggressive but also playful and upbeat. I pick songs that cater to the same energy of the album,” they said.

Kismet began tinkering with music around seven years old but really came to EDM as a high school student. They created their debut album from their experiences as a teen that they felt often interlinked their identities — but also not.

“The album gave me a chance to fully see myself and write these vulnerable stories that connect both my queerness and my Black experience,” they said. “At the same time, I don’t always write from those perspectives. Anyone can listen to my music and find their own meaning.

“I’m not always trying to put my identity on display. I just sometimes want to write a love song.”

For more information and tickets, visit UbbiDubbiFestival.com.