Omar Davis, known best behind the decks as Moore Kismet, is known for their texturally varied songs, featuring everything from heavy bass to shimmering synths, airy production, ominous bass, angelic sounds, percolating beats, effervescent sounds, dubstep music and more. Indeed, the 17-year-old proves to not only be impressive for their age but also for their artistic capabilities, so much so that they are the youngest producer to ever perform at Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC). Davis’ masterful skills are best showcased on their debut album, UNIVERSE, released June 24.
“[The album] documents my age and how much I’ve grown on that aspect, but also how it correlates to how my tastes have changed, how my growth as a musician has changed and everything of that nature,” they say.
Davis, who started producing around six or seven years of age, features 17 songs on UNIVERSE, which is meant to mark each year of their life. Much like the prodigy’s artistic style, the album showcases their multifaceted abilities.
Here, Davis takes the time to share with Forbes the inspiration behind UNIVERSE, why Pride Month is important to them, graduating high school and more.
This transcript has been edited for length and clarity.
Lisa Kocay: What was the inspiration behind your album UNIVERSE?
Omar Davis: “The key inspiration behind UNIVERSE was mainly creating an album that focused on a lot of different topics, but in a way that felt vibrant and colorful. I wanted to focus on the themes of love, acceptance, unity and understanding yourself and growing with yourself. A lot of what I wrote for this album, I wrote during the pandemic and that was the biggest point of my life where I truly started to kind of figure myself out and truly try to get an understanding of who I was as a human being and as an artist. I ultimately realized that I wanted to create something that showed what exactly it was [that] I was discovering about myself at that time, which is why all of the tracks sound so different and why they all sound very experimental and out of the box, because I want to have those key elements that really draw you back and focus on the details.”
Kocay: How did you pick the name UNIVERSE? What does that mean to you?
Davis: “I picked [it] out when I was about 10 or 11-years-old when I first started this album. The reason why is because I knew that as I got older, met more people, got closer to more people and started working with more people, I would start working on creating a whole universe with all of these people from around the world and [get to] shape a particular vision. The reason why I chose it is really because of the fact that I knew that this was going to be something bigger than myself, and it definitely has become something insane. I’ve worked with people ranging from my best friends from high school and my best friends that I’ve made over the internet in high school to people…that have written for these incredible up and coming artists that genuinely took a chance on me and what I wanted to do. [They] put that faith in me to create something crazy and beautiful, and that’s the thing: it’s just like a whole universe of people coming together to create something insane. So that’s why I chose that name.”
Kocay: The albums coinciding with Pride Month. Can you talk about why it’s important for you to release it this month?
Davis: “It was incredibly important to me to release UNIVERSE during Pride Month because of the fact that I am a queer musician. I wanted to release a project this special during a month to give to people in this industry and in this space something they can listen to if they need something powerful or just raw, emotional and heartfelt to get them through whatever they need to get through, whether it be coming out to friends or family members or going to their first pride event. [It] is such a huge thing for a lot of people that really love this community and embrace this community with open arms is going to pride events and going to pride festivals. Then, of course, just enjoying Pride Month and understanding our ancestors as people and our history as a community. I wanted to contribute a small piece of myself into that moment of history for a lot of people. “
Kocay: I saw that you recently graduated high school, so congrats on that, and then you played EDC right after. What was that experience like?
Davis: “Once I was done with all my finals and everything, we packed all of our stuff. We drove down to [Las] Vegas and EDC was essentially my graduation party.”
Kocay: Do you remember the first song that made you fall in love with dance music?
Davis: “ I would have to say it was ‘Hindsight’ by Audien.”
Kocay: What about it do you like so much?
Davis: “I love how uplifting and airy it feels. I think [Audien is] an incredible producer and he’s always been able to create such beautiful, sonic soundscapes with his music. That’s kind of why I have [supported] him so hard for so many years, even long before we became friends and management buddies—we’re on the same management roster. I’ve always loved his music for that reason. It’s always been so energetic and so uplifting. I can’t help but dance around, jump up and smile every single time I hear one of the songs.”
Kocay: So you’ve been making music since you were six or seven, but if you didn’t go into making music, where do you think you’d be today?
Davis: “Screenwriting. I would absolutely be in film making. I would be writing scripts for blockbuster movies and for art house films. I would also be directing and producing some of my own films, which I’m looking to do sometime after the tour, as well. That’s something that I’m pursuing as well because you have to have a plan B. This is something that I wanted to do long before I ever got into music. Now that I am into music, I realize that I don’t want to keep burning myself out. So I want to explore different creative avenues.”
Kocay: Very multifaceted of you. So if you could go back in time to when you first started making music and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
Davis: “Don’t be afraid to get weird. With lyric writing, songwriting, with music production…with everything,. Do not ever be afraid to be experimental, to be weird and express yourself through your music, because that’s going to be the best thing about anything you’ll ever write in your entire tenure writing music.”