FARMINGTON — Although Christian singer and songwriter Jaci Velasquez grew up in New Mexico, she has not performed in her home state for six years.
Now, she's back on familiar ground.
On Saturday, she and her husband, Nic Gonzales will sing together at the Farmington Civic Center. Gonzales is the lead singer of Christian band Salvador.
Velasquez, who now has two children, said motherhood has changed everything in her life. Her sons have prompted her to think about how much she loves them, and, if she loves them so much, she said she wonders "how much more does God love me?"
Velasquez met her husband at a birthday party for a mutual friend when she was 19. He later asked her on a date, and they dated on and off until she was 27, when they finally got married.
Gonzales had been making music since he was 12 years old. He said his band Salvador started as "a jam band that was based out of a church." The church needed a worship band, and he stepped up to fill in.
"Christian music, I think, can mean a lot of things for a lot of different people," he said.
Gonzales said Christian music uplifts his soul.
"It's a way to become part of a culture that's healthy," he said.
Gonzales said he and Velasquez don't often perform together. However, when he travels and sings with her, it is different.
"I kind of feel like I'm still at home," he said.
Unlike her husband, Velasquez grew up in a musical family. From the time she was 9 years old, she traveled and performed with her parents. Eventually, she became a Christian singer.
"For me, whatever is in me is going to come out because it's my artistry," she said.
Her Christian faith isn't the only part of her heritage reflected in her music. Her Latina roots also come through.
"My last name is Velasquez, and I am very proud of my people," she said.
Last year, she recorded a lullaby record for Fisher Price. Some of the songs were Latin style lullabies, while others were English songs remade in Spanish.
While Velasqeuz is a well-known Christian singer, she said many of her fans know about her life more from her syndicated radio show with Doug Griffin. She said sometimes when she's on air, she forgets it's being broadcast.
"You're just talking about life," she said.
Velasquez had her first taste of radio when Griffin's cohost took time off three years ago when she was pregnant, and Velasquez filled in. Producers later approached her and asked if she wanted to make it a full-time gig.
"They said, 'Hey, would you be interested in doing this a lot, like all the time?'" Velasquez recalled.
Leading up to the concert, Griffin will be in Farmington, as well fundraising for Passion Radio.
He said the most difficult part of being in Christian radio is representing himself. Some people, for example, don't approve of his life choices, such as his divorce, he said.
"Sometimes you have people who view Christianity through a microscope," Griffin said.