Whether you grew up bee-bopping to her tunes with your youth group, or fell in love with her flair for the nations through her string of GRAMMY-nominated Latin recordings, or spent the past several years tuning in to her national Family Friendly Morning Show during drive time radio, at 37, Jaci Velasquez is much more than a music veteran, she is, quite simply … a legend.
Taking a five-year hiatus from recording music to focus in on her growing family—a brood of boys that includes singer-songwriter husband, Nic Gonzales (from the award-winning band Salvador), and her two sons, Zealand (9) and Soren (8)—the young pro is celebrating two decades in the business with a brand new studio release, Trust (Integrity Music—buy). Twenty years after making history with her wildly successful first record—the first time a solo artist in Christian music has achieved Gold status (much less, Platinum) on a debut release—Trust initiates another series of “firsts” for Velasquez, marking her first-ever worship recording, as well as her first simultaneous English and Spanish release.
In this exclusive CCM Magazine cover conversation, Velasquez plumbs the heart of a life lived through the lens of faith to uncover the challenges her family faces, including her oldest son’s struggle with Autism, and the unsuspecting partnership of worship music to prod her into a new space of surrender – in her music, and at home.
CCM Magazine: I think it’s natural to ask, what prompted your return to recording music after focusing on radio for several years?
Jaci Velasquez: I always pray, “God open the doors you want me to walk through, and close the ones you don’t.” I had been doing radio for six years. Getting up at 4:20 a.m. every morning, a lot of people said, “She’ll never last a month.” Well, I did. [Laughing] Did I enjoy getting up that early? You get used to it. But I got to be home for the milestone years of my kids’ lives, and I loved that.
But, when that door closed, I prayed again: “God open the doors you want me to walk through, and close the ones you don’t.” That door opened with Integrity Music. They asked my manager, Greg [Lucid], “Would Jaci want to record a record for Integrity?” I was delighted they would want me to make music, but I also thought, I’ve never made a worship record. I’m a Pastor’s Kid, so I’ve been in church my whole life but I’ve never made a record based on that genre of music. I’ve always done pop [music]. So initially I was unsure.
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