The Blues Magazine: Straight Outta Compton

tHE bLUES MAGAZINE UK1Not many people would choose to move to Compton, the notorious south LA neighbourhood immortalised by NWA. But that’s just what guitarist Kirk Fletcher’s parents did when he was a child. “All of my family is from Pine Bluff, Arkansas, but I grew up in southern California, a little suburb of LA called Lakewood,” says Fletcher. “Then I moved to Compton with my family to start building a new church because my dad’s a pastor. That’s where I got started playing guitar. “My dad sold the house in Lakewood and we moved to another house in Compton and he used that money to help build the church there. We already had a small church but he wanted to build a bigger church because he felt at that time we’re living in a bigger house and the Lord’s house is suffering in this small place. So he was really doing it for the right reasons.” …

…“I’m a late singer. [Producer] Mike Landau and a couple of my friends who helped me record that record were like: ‘Kirk, you’ve got to do it. You’ve got to try.’ They pushed me and pushed me and I finally said, ‘Okay, I’m going to try.’ It took me a year after that record to even do it consistently live because I was nervous and it felt strange.” Apart from the pressure, there’s the often painful process of getting used to hearing your own voice played back to you. “Oh God, it’s the worst! If you can get past that then I think you’ll be okay,” says Fletcher, who has simultaneously been figuring out what exactly it is he wants to sing about. “That’s the other thing that’s evolving as we speak actually. I basically started singing songs that I do now in my live gigs that somebody else sang on my records. It’s weird. Now I want to try to figure out what I want to sing, what I want to write and what I want to say, which is very scary, but at the same time it’s very fun and a new chapter.”

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