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Meet the 16-year-old nonbinary DJ prodigy who is redefining dance music

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What were you doing as a 16-year-old?

Probably not making history as the youngest-ever act to play Lollapalooza, or streaming in the millions on Spotify — but this high school senior has done both.

Moore Kismet is an ambitious and proud nonbinary DJ who has taken the dance music world by storm. After booking this summer’s Lollapalooza festival in Chicago — which Kismet is “still just at a loss of words” over — the teen from Adelanto, California, will be heading to Randall’s Island this Friday, to take the stage at the electronic music festival Electric Zoo.

“My goal has always been to do things I want to see other people my age doing,” Kismet told The Post of their precocious drive (Kismet uses they/them pronouns).

Moore Kismet at Lollapalooza in 2021.
Moore Kismet at Lollapalooza in 2021.
Brand 1 Films

When they’re not on the road, Kismet — whose hits include “Rumor” and “You Should Run” — maintains that they’re just a typical high school senior. In class, they use their birth name, Omar Davis, and they’re just a “normal f–king kid,” as Kismet said.

“In all honestly, not a lot of my classmates know I do music, I don’t really talk about that part of my life because I feel it isn’t that necessary,” Kismet said, adding that they always know when another student has discovered their alter ego on social media. “My actual friends, they know I do music but they don’t treat me differently … whereas random people who find my page suck up to me no matter what.”

Since festivals and gigs are mostly on the weekends, Kismet — whose favorite subject is English — can keep on top of their grades and advanced classes without much trouble.

After all, they’ve been juggling music and school for years.

As a 14-year-old, Kismet performed for EDM giants such as A-Trak, Alison Wonderland and Just Blaze, who were judging the 2019 DJ competition known as the Goldie Awards in Brooklyn.

Although Kismet fell short in the competition’s final stages, facing off against fully grown professionals, the teen still won over the celebrity judges and crowd.

“I was just blown away by how kind and supportive these people were,” Kismet said.

Having their first-ever chance to perform E-Zoo is “wonderfully gratifying,” and a “full-circle” moment back to that career-altering night in Brooklyn, Kismet said. “I had grown up seeing some of these lineups and my favorite artists on it and now I get to be part of it myself.”

But beyond just the thrills of early success, Kismet has a more serious objective for dance music — making the genre more inclusive.

“Electronic music was literally founded by people like me, black, queer DJs … and it has just become a scene dominated by cis[gender] men,” Kismet said.

Portrain of Kismet
Kismet uses their music to inspire diversity in EDM.
LEAHKUHNPHOTO
Kismet performs for adoring fans
Moore Kismet has received heart-warming feedback from both their idols and their fans.
Brand 1 Films

“It essentially defeats the purpose of why electronic music was created in the first place, which was to make music that makes people feel like themselves.”

That passion to diversify the EDM scene has been rewarded, said Kismet, who notes that fans have reached out and told them “your music has changed my life.”

“I know I’m doing this right, that’s my goal. I want to make sure myself and others are happy,” they said. “If I’m not doing that, then I’m not in this for the right reason.”

In fact, Kismet — who has an album in the works and recently created promotional music for the blockbuster video game “Fortnite” — makes an effort to remain humble about all they’ve achieved so far.

At a recent show in Los Angeles, Kismet said they took a minute to soak in the roaring crowd before hitting the decks.

“I was like … y’all actually wanna see me, what the hell?!”



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