Common ground found with Common Koi

University of Oregon students perform for Oregon State University and Corvallis community

Common+Koi+band+members+perform+in+front+of+a+red+velvet+curtain+at+the+Whiteside+Theater+in+Corvallis.

Photo Courtesy of Ian Enger

Common Koi performs at the Whiteside Theater in Corvallis, Ore.

Sam Misa, Beaver's Digest Contributor

Despite being from rival school University of Oregon, the band Common Koi has performed for kbvrTV’s Locals Live, at the Whiteside Theater in Corvallis, Ore., and for local house shows, proving once again that music cannot be confined to certain city limits or owned by any one person or group.

Common Koi consists of Skylar Coy, singer; Jack Keith, guitarist; Kira Gelbaugh, bassist; and Stephen Strong, the drummer of the group. They are all third-year students U of O students.

Common Koi band members perform in front of a red velvet curtain at the Whiteside Theater in Corvallis.
Common Koi playing at the Whiteside Theater in Corvallis, Ore. (Photo Courtesy of Ian Enger)

“We all met freshman year at U of O in the dorms— basically, me and Jack and Skylar,” Strong said. “We were all in the music dorm and we all met just to do that [music]. Skylar was in a hip hop ensemble, with Kira, when we were looking for a bassist like a couple days after we started the band.”

Despite having a clear lineup of who does what, the group still tries to keep things democratic as much as possible.

Common Koi drummer Stephen Strong performing at the Whiteside Theater in Corvallis.
Common Koi drummer Stephen Strong performing at the Whiteside Theater in Corvallis, Ore. (Photo Courtesy of Ian Enger )

“I mean, our lead singer is definitely like a lead singer,” Strong said. “She’s got the frontman energy of the band. But I mean, in the writing process, I’d say it’s pretty collaborative. Yeah, I feel like Skylar leads us socially. Maybe a little financially but we all make decisions together.”

Mostly performing within the hybrid genre of ‘dance rock’, which contains some artists such as: David Bowie, The Clash and the duo Hall and Oates. The music can be characterized as being more of a fusion between punk and disco and less influenced by the blues as other subgenres of rock would. 

 

Common Koi performing with smoke and green spotlights.
Common Koi performs within the hybrid genre of ‘dance rock.’ The music can be characterized as being more of a fusion between punk and disco and less influenced by the blues as other subgenres of rock would.  (Photos Courtesy of Skyler Beard)

On how the music is made, the group doesn’t have much of a set process—it is much more spontaneous, and the music can be just as random.

“I think we’re still trying to figure it out— what our process is,” Gelbaugh said. “It seems like it just happens; we all have the same excited energy going into practice, like really feeling like we want to write a song together. Sometimes, with the mood trying to make dance rock, I feel like we try to make like dancey, relatable, fun lyrics, but more about a certain party or something a certain topic. It definitely varies.”

Common Koi performs in a local house show.
Common Koi performs in local house shows around Corvallis, Ore. (Photo Courtesy of Claudia (@szrup_ on Instagram))

One thing the group is looking forward to is recording their first record to be their first music on Spotify. In the meantime, Common Koi’s music can be found on YouTube or on SoundCloud. And of course, you can find their music on kbvrTV’s Locals Live episode