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Common denominator

After ten years, they found her, and Katie gave Citrus a voice.
After ten years, they found her, and Katie gave Citrus a voice.

Halloween 2013 was a good day for Oscar Carrion and Andre Flores.

That’s the day the duo, who make up the band Citrus, finally scared up a vocalist after ten years of playing together.

“We’ve known each other for years,” said Carrion, 23, a guitarist who grew up in the Eastlake area with Flores, who plays keyboards, bass, synth, and sax. “We’ve been involved in project-to-project, where we were the only common denominator.”

Carrion and Flores were doing instrumentals, but not by choice.

“The singers we were working with weren’t the most competent vocalists,” Carrion tells the Reader.

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That changed Halloween 2013, when Carrion and Flores went to a Halloween party in Talmadge.

“There was a three-piece band from Tijuana setting up, and this woman dressed as a Native American grabbed the mic and starts jamming,” Carrion said.

That was Katie Howard, 27, who sang in high school but not much since then.

“I grabbed the mic while the band was setting up,” she says. “I sang four lines and went to the kitchen.”

That’s where she met Carrion and Flores, who were impressed with her abilities.

“She has a musician’s ear,” Carrion said. “Katie picks up notes others wouldn’t. Plus, like us, she listens to jazz and R&B.”

The musicians talked and, recognizing some common ground, decided to jam.

“Oscar and Andre write a foundation, and I write the lyrics on the fly,” she says.

The result is a sunny mix of pop and funk with a dash of disco that reflects the East County surroundings where they live: “Splotches of color with lots of room to move.”

“I’m very influenced by the landscape,” Carrion said. “The rolling hills and the open space.”

Past Event

Citrus

  • Thursday, January 22, 2015, 8 p.m.
  • Sycamore Den, 3391 Adams Avenue, San Diego

Other influences include R&B artists like D’Angelo, Erykah Badu, and the Sunday afternoon request show on 92.5.

“We found out we were listening to the same artists separately,” Carrion said.

The group has been performing as Citrus & Katie since July, which is partially to avoid confusion with other bands using the Citrus moniker.

Their next gigs are January 16 at the Moustache Bar in Tijuana and January 22 at the Sycamore Den in Normal Heights.

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After ten years, they found her, and Katie gave Citrus a voice.
After ten years, they found her, and Katie gave Citrus a voice.

Halloween 2013 was a good day for Oscar Carrion and Andre Flores.

That’s the day the duo, who make up the band Citrus, finally scared up a vocalist after ten years of playing together.

“We’ve known each other for years,” said Carrion, 23, a guitarist who grew up in the Eastlake area with Flores, who plays keyboards, bass, synth, and sax. “We’ve been involved in project-to-project, where we were the only common denominator.”

Carrion and Flores were doing instrumentals, but not by choice.

“The singers we were working with weren’t the most competent vocalists,” Carrion tells the Reader.

Sponsored
Sponsored

That changed Halloween 2013, when Carrion and Flores went to a Halloween party in Talmadge.

“There was a three-piece band from Tijuana setting up, and this woman dressed as a Native American grabbed the mic and starts jamming,” Carrion said.

That was Katie Howard, 27, who sang in high school but not much since then.

“I grabbed the mic while the band was setting up,” she says. “I sang four lines and went to the kitchen.”

That’s where she met Carrion and Flores, who were impressed with her abilities.

“She has a musician’s ear,” Carrion said. “Katie picks up notes others wouldn’t. Plus, like us, she listens to jazz and R&B.”

The musicians talked and, recognizing some common ground, decided to jam.

“Oscar and Andre write a foundation, and I write the lyrics on the fly,” she says.

The result is a sunny mix of pop and funk with a dash of disco that reflects the East County surroundings where they live: “Splotches of color with lots of room to move.”

“I’m very influenced by the landscape,” Carrion said. “The rolling hills and the open space.”

Past Event

Citrus

  • Thursday, January 22, 2015, 8 p.m.
  • Sycamore Den, 3391 Adams Avenue, San Diego

Other influences include R&B artists like D’Angelo, Erykah Badu, and the Sunday afternoon request show on 92.5.

“We found out we were listening to the same artists separately,” Carrion said.

The group has been performing as Citrus & Katie since July, which is partially to avoid confusion with other bands using the Citrus moniker.

Their next gigs are January 16 at the Moustache Bar in Tijuana and January 22 at the Sycamore Den in Normal Heights.

Sponsored
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