Veronica Petrucci is best known as one half of the husband and wife Christian music duo, Angelo and Veronica. The duo started their music recording careers in 1992, releasing nine albums with five labels, and two of those albums charted on the Billboard magazine Christian Albums chart. Recently, Petrucci has written her first book How I Made It Out Alive. In this revealing devotion, Petrucci candidly writes about how she overcame fear and depression. This book not only gets us into Petrucci's life, but it's also a great help for those of us struggling with fear and depression.
In 1991 Angelo and Veronica signed their first recording contract as duo Angelo and Veronica with a major gospel label (Benson Records), where they recorded four records, Higher Place, A&V, Give Your Life, and Da Tu Vida (Spanish). They were booked through world-renowned William Morris Agency. They also recorded a fifth record for their black division label (Verity Records), entitled " Not Enough". They have worked with top producers Fred Hammond of Commissioned and RFC, Donald Lawrence, Brian Lennox and Percy Bady.
Hit songwriter Diane Warren (Whitney Houston, Celine Dion & Toni Braxton) saw Angelo and Veronica performing at the Dove awards show and asked if she could pitch a couple of songs for the CD. They accepted and recorded two songs, "Now That I Found You" and "No Doubt About It" on the CD entitled A&V.
Angelo and Veronica have sung background vocals on many other recordings with Michael Bolton, Michael W. Smith, Amy Grant, Kirk Whalem, Carmen, Anointed, Take 6, Tommy Simms (producer for Michael Bolton and Bruce Springsteen and songwriter of " Change The World"). They recently sang on Bill Champlain's (lead singer of Chicago) new record. Angelo and Veronica are not only known for their abilities as singers, they have collaborated with many great songwriters such as Fred Hammond, Jay Moss and Percy Bady.
Q: I was just reading your book and I just couldn't put it down. Though it's in the form of a devotional, you have interspersed it with your own stories. Why did you decide to do a devotional rather than a full autobiography?
Honestly, it was totally by accident. I have never written a book before so I didn't even know how to make an outline. It just kind of developed that way. The first Christian book I ever read, My Utmost for His Highest, is a devotional style and I guess that stuck with me. I've just started writing the next book, Story of Angelo & Veronica, and it will be in a full autobiographical style.
Q: There were so many times I felt the hurts in the experiences you went through. For instance, I couldn't believe all the legal problems surrounding the release of your album "Made It Out Alive." Have these hurts hindered you or taint you towards your view of making music?
This experience actually hit harder than any of the other experiences we had with record dealings in the past. Not sure why that was, maybe the fact that it was such a personal testimony or the fact that it was a solo project. Never did we feel so scammed by the industry. They are still collecting our royalties from an album we own the master to and it's like really? Wow. We could get the biggest, baddest lawyer or the worst lawyer and we would win. But what would that benefit us? We'd rather let God deal with it. We're to the point where we have just said, Father forgive them, they don't know what they're doing. And yes, I could let it affect my view in making music but God has given me the strength and courage to move on. God continues to give us many songs. And as long as He does, we will continue to do music for His glory and for His glory alone. The best we can do is to let people know to purchase music directly from our website to support our ministry. Q: In the book, you mentioned that you and your husband were once tempted to leave the Christian music, if you had chosen that path, how do you think your life, your faith, and your career would be affected?
Not sure if you mean Christian music or the Christian music industry because that's two very different things. The Christian music industry is no different from secular because it is secular run and corporate owned. So many times our philosophy was, why not just do secular music and reach the lost. Yes, we had an opportunity to break away from our Christian deal after our first album, Higher Place. We were offered a pop deal from a very powerful record executive from a major secular label. He wanted us to do love songs, which we had no problem with, but only love songs. We would have had to compromise and not been able to do Christian music anymore. I don't remember what was said in that meeting as much as I remember the way it made me feel...yuck. I remember the record executive saying, "this is the last deal you'll ever have to make." And I believe that's true, because I believe with all my heart, if we would had signed that deal we could have achieved pop stardom but it would have been the end of us, our marriage, our souls.
So the same way you are not allowed to evangelize through secular music and it has now become politically incorrect to preach the Gospel in Gospel music. I think this is what I have hated the most about being apart of the music industry is feeling like we had to hide what we believe...which is the bible! But this is the very reason we have cut ties and walked away from the industry, so that we can finally share the Gospel freely with no restraints. We will never stop doing music for the Lord because that is our heart, beliefs and convictions.
Q: You and your husband did have a very successful Christian and Gospel music career, what were some of the highlights for you?
The biggest highlight by far is meeting the people who have been blessed by the music. The biggest reward is when someone's life has been changed by a song. It's the greatest reward to see someone saved, healed or delivered. We receive many emails from those who say our music got them through a very difficult time in their lives. I even remember an email from someone who heard a radio interview of my testimony that was about to commit suicide but decided not to drive off that bridge. So that is what we do ministry for.
Q: In the book, you also mention the need to retrain your own voice, which must have been a humbling experience. Tell us more about this and how that led you to a ministry of helping others sing.
About 15 years ago, I started to have problems with my voice. I was having issues with the middle of my register, getting hoarse and tired after singing and even cracking on certain notes. Death to a singer! Turns out the singing technique I learned in the past was not the right technique for the music I was singing. So I decided to retrain my voice. This was an intense training for 2 to 3 years. It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do! But now I have an easier time singing notes I used to hit when we first made our Angelo & Veronica albums. After that whole trial, the voice teacher gave us the idea of teaching and that we were both more than qualified. Our training is called Master Your Voice. Because many singers sing but few truly learn to master their voice. This is what Master Your Voice will enable a singer to do. People can find more info at: http://angeloandveronica.com
Q: I think many readers will find your talk about depression the most moving section of the book. What words do you have to say to readers who are depressed now?
The thing I want to convey the most is that depression is a spiritual battle. Depression is oppression from the devil. Some of the greatest men of God experienced the anguish of depression such as Moses, Job and Elijah. So we should not be discouraged with the battles of depression but we can actually be encouraged knowing that it is the devil's opposition. So as a believer, it is something you can do something about. And the devil would not oppose you to such a great extent if you were not chosen by God to serve Him. The reason the enemy makes you feel completely worthless enough to take your own life is an attempt to thwart God's plan for your life.
I want people to know that God does not want them to live a life imprisoned by fear and depression. I never thought the chains of fear and depression would be broken in my life but God showed me a way out of this emotional hell. Jesus promises to heal all who are oppressed by the devil! At times, it does try to creep back but God has shown me how to fight this battle and win. In the book, I write how God showed me step by step on how to conquer it. The most important thing is to declare God's Word. Because when you speak God's Word you are speaking life and no death or spirit of suicide can come near you.
Q: Now you and your husband are pastors of a church, tell us about your calling to pastor and a little about the church.
Higher Place Church as turned out to be the hugest blessing. Which is amazing since the last thing we ever wanted to do was to have a church. Not many people know about it and right now it is primarily an online ministry. But I've got to say, until Higher Place Church, we have never felt like we were fulfilling God's will like we are now. Our church motto is, "loving you to the truth". So we share some very hard truths that the church has forgotten. But no matter how hard or painful the truth is, it always, always make you free. And this is what we want, for people to be made free. And the only way people can be free is by the truth of God's Word. We are told we cover subjects other churches do not. But we feel called to expose works of darkness including the darkness that once worked in our life. Once the darkness and lies are exposed, it no longer has any power in your life.
Q: Despite all the legal hassle, I love the album "Make It Out Alive." Do you plan on doing another solo album in the near future? And if so, when?
Thank you for that. But actually we are working on a new Angelo & Veronica album called "Celebrating 25 Years". We are celebrating 25 years of marriage and music ministry this year (2017) so we will be releasing music all this year. Our first single will be out very soon...
Q: Where can our readers find out more about your new book and your ministry?