Mountain Made: Rachel Proctor
BIRTHPLACE Big Chimney
FAVORITE TV SHOW Lost, Big Love, and Private Practice
BIGGEST INFLUENCE Madonna, Dolly Parton, Reba McIntire, and Kenny Loggins
FAVORITE PASTIME My dogs. I’m a co-founder of a dog rescue called Camp Chaos 37206.
FAVORITE ARTIST It changes, but right now I love Lee Ann Womack’s new album.
West Virginia native Rachel Proctor, an accomplished songwriter in Nashville, has had her share of hit songs. In 2002, Martina McBride recorded her song, “Where Would You Be?” Most recently she co-wrote Jessica Simpson’s debut country album, including the hit “Come on Over.” With two successful albums of her own (including hit songs “Days like This” and “Me and Emily”) and a third on the way, Rachel is poised to rock the Country Charts.
WV LIVING – You have a new album, What Didn’t Kill Me, coming out this spring. Tell us about it.
Rachel Proctor – I just wanted to write an album that represented more of who I really am and who I’ve become over the last four years since Where I Belong was released. I love up tempo sassy songs and this album is full of those. I think out of all the work I’ve done this is definitely my favorite.
WVL – How has being a West Virginia native influenced your song writing?
RP – I think being from West Virgina I’m a country girl at heart. We have lots of great musicians and songwriters here in Nashville from West Virginia, including Jerry Flowers whom I went to high school with. We’ve just recently started writing together and it’s been really great. Jerry plays bass on tour for Keith Urban.
WVL – How is this album different from your last one, Only Lonely Girl?
RP – I think Only Lonely Girl was an exploration for me creatively after leaving BNA records. I’m very proud of that songwriting. In fact, the song “Only Lonely Girl” is also on the new album because it’s one of my favorite songs I’ve ever written. What Didn’t Kill Me is a more commercial and radio friendly album.
WVL – How is your approach different when you are writing for another artist’s album compared to when you are writing for your own?
RP – I have to put on a different hat. I become just a songwriter in those moments and try to get to know the artist and what he/she may want to say. Then we try to craft a song that fits that artist and his/her voice.