Veronica Petrucci has been most widely recognized as apart of the husband and wife Gospel/R&B/ Latin duo, Angelo and Veronica. Their debut solo album in 1992, "Higher Place" caught the attention of both Gospel music mogul Bobby Jones and legendary hit pop songwriter Diane Warren to create the incomparable sound that is Angelo and Veronica. They went on to record 6 albums with Benson Music Group, Verity Records and Harmony Records, a division of Sony, Inc. Their song "God Knows" was included in legendary Gospel artist, John P. Kee's "Show Up" video and also made top 15 on the Contemporary Christian Music charts.
Veronica released her first solo Spanish language album "Atrévete a Soñar" in 2009. She has released her latest album "Made It Out Alive," which includes special guests Fred Hammond, John P. Kee, Shirley Murdock, Canton Jones and the Mississippi Mass Choir. Veronica has also recorded a song called "Hope" for the major motion picture, Unconditional which is a duet with Brian Courtney Wilson produced by Award winning producer (for Marvin Sapp and Israel Houghton), Aaron Lindsey. She will soon be releasing her first book publication similarly titled, "How I Made It Out Alive".
We are so honored to catch up with Veronica for this Hallels' exclusive interview.
Hallels: Thank you so much for your time. I know you have a brand new book coming out which is called "How I Made It Out Alive." Tell us briefly what's the book about?
"How I Made It Out Alive" is a book that I started writing in 2010. It is an extension of the album "Made It Out Alive" and based on my testimony told through a devotional style book. It is based on the story of my life of one day 17 years ago that my life spiraled so out of control with fear, anxiety and depression almost causing me to take my own life. I heard voices telling me, "You are not a good wife, not a good mother, not a good Christian and you'd be doing more harm than good by staying in the world"! So I decided that day would be my last day and planned to take my life. Thankfully, my husband and son came home before I carried out this demonically inspired plan.
After surviving that day, I fervently cried out to God for help. I told God I no longer wanted to live like this. Living a life of fear and depression is like not living at all! I thank God now for that desperate place and for hitting rock bottom. Because I was willing to do whatever it took to change my life and the way I was living. There are many events that brought me to the brink and this is what I explain in the book. I also explain the way of escape God provided and how His love brought me back from the edge. In the last chapters of the book, I tell of exactly how God showed me to overcome depression.
Hallels: What inspired you to write this book? Do you find writing challenging?
Yes, writing is a challenge but it is also something I love. I really looked forward to it everyday as I was writing this book. For the most part, the experience was cathartic and therapeutic. The most difficult times was writing about things I did not want to remember but knew I had to share! I think the inspiration to write comes from same desire to write songs and wanting so much to communicate something to others. I feel like, I don't want to write, I have to write! There is so much God has given me and I feel a need to proclaim it from the rooftops!
Hallels: Depression is something many people faced these days. What words of encouragement do you have for our readers who may be suffering from depression?
Yes, that there is a way out of depression! God provides a way of escape! Toward the end of "How I Made It Out Alive" book, I share exactly what God showed me to conquer a life of fear and depression. After that almost fatal day, I was sitting in church still emotionally distraught, but I heard one thing that morning that would change my Christian walk forever. All the preacher said was, "When you read the Bible, read it out loud". That was all I heard that morning. I thought to myself, maybe this is what I'm missing? This became revelation to my soul. And I was desperate enough to try anything!
So I went home and began to highlighting scriptures in a devotional book someone had given me. I started learning them, speaking them, meditating on them. Scriptures such as, 2 Timothy 1:7: "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." Psalm 139:14: "I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works..." and Jeremiah 29:11: "For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope." Romans 10:17 says, "faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." I was a Christian desperately in need of faith! Slowly but surely, this depression started lifting off my life. I learned to tell the spirit of fear to go from my life! We have authority over all the power of the enemy! See when you speak God's words, you are speaking life! His words are life! Jesus' words are full of Spirit and life!! I began to speak life into my very being. And I began wanting to live! Out of this experience, God has shown me my calling in life. Out of my pain, God revealed my purpose! And when God reveals your destiny, you will discover your reason to live.
Hallels: You are also involved in a ministry called "A Voice for Women," can you tell us more about this?
"A Voice For Women" ministry is birthed out of my story. The vision for "A Voice For Women" is to change the way women and girls feel about themselves, one voice at a time. The root cause of my depression was feelings of worthlessness. See in order for the enemy to get you to the brink of suicide, he must get you to believe that you are nothing and your life is worth nothing. This is how lies will derail your life and utterly destroy you. I believe the enemy has greatly attacked women and girls in the area of self-worth. So much so, that women have taken on the very hatred toward themselves that the enemy has toward them. It is time for women to know who they are in Christ and see themselves the way God does!! I want to show women how they can overcome fear, insecurity, depression, etc by speaking God's word over themselves and their lives. To reject lies and embrace truth! This is how they become a voice for women! A voice for God!
Hallels: Music wise, are you in the process of making a brand new album?
Yes! God continues to give me songs, so we continue to do music. Even though the enemy has attempted to silence us, I have become thankful for God hiding me away, because He has protected me. He has shown me that what's important is not for me to known to the world but what is important is to be known by God! So even though the music is yet to get out there the way we hoped, we continue to write songs as God continues to give them to us, whether or not people ever hear them! There are so many songs and albums that people have not even heard. Angelo and I even have another book about singing that is yet to be published and released! So the problem for us is not creating, the challenge is getting it out to the people.
Hallels: What direction do you think you next album will be? Worship? Contemporary Christian pop?
Yes, all of those and none of those! I am so thankful for the versatility God has given me and for the ability to reach so many types of people. Angelo & Veronica's music have always been a beacon to bridging the gap between races, ethnicity, young and old. And God takes this to even another level in this next phase of ministry. I want very much to reach all markets not just Urban Gospel but CCM, Latino and R&B/pop. But this also takes marketing dollars! We plan to release a new single for the new album in the new year 2015..
Hallels: When will your new book be out? And where can our readers purchase it or find out more about it?
I am new to the literary world. My manuscript is done and excited to get the book out to the people. If you know anyone that can help with that, please have them contact me! People can get more info at VeronicaP.com or AngeloandVeronica.com.
My latest release "Made It Out Alive" is now on iTunes. You can purchase it here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/made-it-out-alive/id700356551
They can also connect with us on Facebook: (Veronica Petrucci and Angelo & Veronica), Twitter: @veronicap @avoiceforwomen and Instagram: Veronica_Petrucci .