Producer Sessions 021: Moore Kismet talk new ‘Revenge Of The Unicorns EP’ [Interview]
15-year-old Omar Davis, better known as Moore Kismet, have released their new project, Revenge Of The Unicorns EP. A clinic in self-expression and unique sound in the bass space, the production has arrived through the NEVER SAY DIE shop.
For those unfamiliar, the name “Moore Kismet” means “more than fate,” and serves as a representation of Davis finding success in the industry while sharing their story of who they really are. As Davis explains, being an openly pansexual/non-binary artist is somewhat unique in the music industry, but with much love and support from the LGBTQ+ community, this identity has become a major aspect of Davis, particularly as they strive for greater inclusivity in the music industry and beyond.
Making music and growing into one’s own identity are intimately related in the context of Kismet’s creative process. In a press release, Kismet further expounded on this idea and described how the Revenge Of The Unicorns EP was both the impetus for and an emblem of personal progression, stating,
“What rarely ever comes across my mind about this project is that it originally was never meant to be created. In the midst of working on my album, I stopped myself and began to use the techniques I had developed and learned in other tracks separate from it. Little did I know, these tracks would end up coming together to represent a timeline of my life’s most important moments, good and bad.
I can honestly say without a doubt say that working on ROTU has changed my life for the better. It’s allowed me to grow as an artist. It’s shown me how to grow as a person. Creating this project has constantly encouraged me to grow from my past mistakes and to embrace my flaws as I know it’s a part of who I am. I’m so glad that this EP is finally out for the world to hear, and I sincerely hope that people will be able to listen to it with an open mind so they can truly see the story I have to tell with it.”
Dancing Astronaut spoke with the young up-and-comer, asking production-focused questions to not only home in on the techniques that you hear on the Revenge Of The Unicorns EP, but also celebrate the release of the extended play.
Why did you call the project Revenge Of The Unicorns?
KISMET: “The reason why I called the EP Revenge Of The Unicorns is because the meaning behind the project’s culmination spawned from all of the hatred and abuse I had received from listeners, old friends, and even close family when I was younger. It never left my mind. It was meant to symbolize me releasing all of the energy formulating from the anger, stress, anxiety, and depression that I had repressed.”
Do you have a typical production process and if so, what does it consist of? Additionally, what instruments/tracks do you start with; do you use a skeleton or blank slate?
KISMET: “I normally begin any new song with a fresh blank slate. I usually scroll through my sample library to see if I can find anything melodic to work around. More recently, however, I’ve started new projects by experimenting with sound design and working on a rough concept for a drop first, then writing the rest of the song around that concept within the span of one or two weeks.”
What was a go-to synth for the project and why?
KISMET: “Definitely 3xOsc. This is a stock plugin for FL Studio, and I can say with utter confidence that it can be utilized for SO much. I mainly use it to create a clean sub bass for drop sounds, but I’ve also utilized it for reese bases, background synths, leads, chords, and random noises to resample using other VSTs.”
Did you also have a go-to MIDI controller?
KISMET: “I don’t own any MIDI controllers.”
Did this project involve any special VST that really took the production home?
KISMET: “I would really have to say MFreqShifter by MeldaProduction and Couture by Auburn Sounds. MFreqShifter is a frequency shifting plugin that allows you to alter the frequencies and sound of the assigned audio signal. Couture is a transient shaper that allows you to make the transients of your drums snap and punch through the mix harder. They both came in really handy when it came down to the beginning stages and the home stretch of production for the ROTU EP.”
Do you have any pet peeves with your DAW?
KISMET: “Not really. One minor issue that I have is that whenever I try to live stream myself producing for my friends on Discord, I have to switch through my audio devices, which is kind of a pain in the ass. However, that’s an issue with my actual computer, not with the DAW specifically.”
Which song took the longest to make and why?
KISMET: “‘They Changed’ without a shadow of a doubt. Ari (snowcloak) and I worked on it for so long, and went through so many different versions of it. When we finished it, we were at version 22 with a runtime of over five minutes. Whenever them and me create a new track together, it’s always a fairly long yet very cinematic and euphoric experience. I had a blast working with them on the track, even if it took quite a while for us to get it sounding right!”
What was the most difficult sound to conquer on the project and why?
KISMET: “I would have to say ‘Convulsion Therapy’ takes the cake on that one. The story I wanted to tell with it absolutely required it to be as minimalistic as possible. It was hard trying to still show my true self through the sounds while becoming one with experimentation through storytelling.”
What are some production skills or methods you have recently improved that have really taken your production or process to the next level?
KISMET: “Sound design, layering drums, and arrangement. I’ve learned that being freer with my arrangements and flows help make my music more expressive and freeing than it ever did before. Sample selection is a fairly small but equally important part as well, as I’ve been able to make some of my best drums through proper sample selection and layering techniques.”
You’re so young, who are your mentors in this industry?
KISMET: “I don’t really have any mentors, I just learn from my friends and from my own mistakes in music production.”
Is there a certain producer’s sound or production technique that you admire and wish you could re-create yourself?
KISMET: “For music in general, I wish I could write cinematic/orchestral music as well as my friend Josh (laxcity) can. He makes such gorgeous orchestral works. It’s as if he just pulled it straight from a movie scene. For electronic specifically, I would love to be able to learn how to create sounds like MARAUDA, Moody Good, and Virtual Riot.”
What was your most memorable in-studio moment while producing Revenge Of The Unicorns?
KISMET: “I remember the day I wrapped up ‘Convulsion Therapy.’ I had finally broken through a long string of depressive experiences with some positivity. The second I finished up the third drop, I IMMEDIATELY hopped on Instagram to record my reaction to the fucking monstrosity that i just concocted for this opening track. Over 1,600 people viewed it. I was very happy and proud that day.”
Are there any specific up-and-comers that you’re excited about?
KISMET: “Too many to list, but PLEASE keep your eyes on snowcloak, Hollimon, euphorian, Chuck Sutton, kmoe, Lunamatic, HOLIDAYKISS, kilamanzego, laxcity, VOLTRA, Crimson Child, & SHSTR. They’re all my absolutely favs and I love them so fucking much. It’s impossible to fully express it in words. Pay attention to them all.”
Are there any causes that you care about at the moment and why?
KISMET: “BLACK LIVES MATTER (ESPECIALLY BLACK TRANS LIVES). DEFUND THE POLICE, STAY HOME, AND WEAR A FUCKING MASK. IT IS NOT THAT FUCKING HARD TO KEEP YOURSELF AND OTHERS SAFE!! You can find petitions to sign, numbers to call, emails to message, and donation links here.”
What is next for Moore Kismet?
KISMET: “What’s next for me is the official release of my second studio album next year, with a good amount of singles and remixes carrying out the rest of 2020 following the release of ROTU! Aside from music, one of the biggest things that I’m currently working on is an upcoming animated series titled Stargazers, which is currently in production. My goal with this series is to shed light on topics and themes that aren’t spoken about in media, specifically in animation. This includes full representation of LGBTQ+ people and themes, mental health issues, and unique storytelling. My production crew primarily consists of my amazing friends, most of which are LGBTQ+ citizens and allies, and I could not be more excited to tell the world more soon!”
Featured image: Incredibly Dope
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