AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Emmanuel and Que Butler not only share a love for each other, but they also share a love for singing and music. Commonly known as EQue, the Butlers chat with WJBF about balancing their passion, parenting, and partnership in holy matrimony.
Thank you for joining us on Celebrating Black Excellence. Let’s start with your humble beginnings. How did you guys meet?
Emmanuel: So, basically when we were in middle school – that’s when we met, we met at the church – and I fell in love with her voice. She had a voice of an angel, so I was crushing on her. So fast forward, we get into high school. We were in summer school, but don’t worry about that. (Laughs) I see her again, and so, I’m just going all cuckoo, crazy in love with her. I know she wasn’t paying attention to me. Fast forward again, I’m in a singing group, and then, I have a girlfriend with me. I meet her [Que] at a church, and all of a sudden, we reunited. She started falling in love with me. I could tell just by her actions. We go to a church, and she ends up wanting to get to know me. So, the tables turned around, and that’s how we end up getting together.
Que: So, our friends and family have always been associated. He’s a preacher’s child, and my best friend, her father is a preacher. I didn’t really know him. I knew of his family. Fast forward after college, we had a mutual friend that was like, “Hey, you should meet this guy, Emmanuel. He sings.” And she was saying to him, “Hey, you should meet her, etc.” And then, we met up, and it was like, “My have you grown.” (Laughs) And the rest is history.
Emmanuel: So, she joined the group, and then, we left the group. Then, we started doing our own thing.
As far as singing, how did you get into it? What made it a passion of yours?
Que: Well, individually, we’ve always sung. I’ve always sung. My father was a singer. It’s always been a part of me. And then quite naturally, when we got together, you know, it was just natural chemistry. We just gelled our gifts.
Emmanuel: Same for me. I’m a PK [Preacher’s Kid]. I was born in church and raised in church. So, my father, before he would preach, he was a someone come say, “Sing with me.” I would be shaking all over the place, but that’s where I got my start from and my passion for music.
So, you are also parents with three beautiful children. How do you maintain and balance being parents, being married, and your gifting with your music?
Que: Caffeine and God. (Laughs) And we try to keep them involved. We really do. We have creative children. They understand what we do. They think we’re celebrities. Well, the high school one doesn’t anymore; he thinks we’re lame. (Laughs) But for the most part, they think we’re celebrities. So, we just try to keep them involved, you know?
Emmanuel: And it’s a lot to balance, but that’s one of the things that we do. We have a focus on our careers. We have a focus on the relationship, and we also have a focus on our relationship with our children. We try to balance those things out. We’re not perfect because when one thing gets to teetering, we have to bring it back in the middle in alignment. So, it is a chore, but we make those priorities.
Que: Definitely. Balance is everything…. and Grandma. Thank you, Mom.
Now, you two are known as EQue. How has your career developed over the years as a singing duo?
Que: You know, it’s always been a passion for us to sing, but when we got together, it became more of a focus on marriage works, love matters, and commitment. We gear our show towards that. So, I just think it has become our purpose to help people, to help marriages, parenting, and all of that all at once.
Emmanuel: I also thought it was pretty cool going through our development with all the many different groups we were with and singing opportunities that we had. When we started singing together, we started noticing that, “Wait a second. This is like kind of unique.” There’s not too many couples that are actually really good at singing and love to sing. Let’s make something of it.
Que: We helped so many people over the years. We were background singers for so many people and a part of so many groups helping them build what they had. I guess it came to a point where we were like, “Let’s build what we have.” When we got together, the chemistry was great.
How has the reception from others impacted you as a couple and with your business?
Emmanuel: It’s been great to be honest with you. You know, to be recognized, to be known just by people for us and still like, we’re just doing what we do. We don’t really understand the impact greatly. But to see people come and say, “Hey, how you doing? You, you know, you help my life. We look up to you.” It’s been a blessing.
Que: We talk about this all the time. “Wow, this person was really inspired by us.” This is just what we do. Our relationship is what it is.
Emmanuel: But going back, I think because relationships are a little rocky these days, to see somebody – and not bragging but anything like that – I feel like we really do have something genuine, something really unique. We know how to balance and play off of each other, and I think they’re seen by others. I think they appreciate that.
Que: I appreciate that people do see our love for each other.
You have an event coming up on November 18th. Can you tell us about that?
Yes, November the 18th. Doors open at 7:30. This show starts at 8 – on time. We have it at Ikonz. We’re just putting on a Southern soul and blues show. It’s going to be amazing because not only do you get good music, you get comedy. You’ll be able to experience EQue, and we do try to bring an experience. It’s not just live music. We don’t consider ourselves just a cover band because we give you all of us.
Emmanuel: Absolutely. If you want to experience this, you can go to Eventbrite and get your tickets.
Que: Which comes with a complimentary drink. Yes, we definitely want you to come out. It’s going to be a great night, a great time, grown folks. We’re going to start on time, and we’re going to have a good time, so we can go home… and go to sleep. (Laughs)
As you mentioned, you have original music. How can people listen to that?
Que: It’s on all digital platforms. We have two singles: Try It and Roller Coaster. So, go check it out because we love it. It’s our baby. You can get it on all digital platforms. You can go to YouTube, you can stream it, share it with a friend, and all that good stuff.
Emmanuel: We got a video on YouTube, too, so go check it.
Speaking of videos, you also are television: Disney+ Best In Snow. How was that experience you guys?
Emmanuel: Oh, my goodness. Incredible! For me, just to be a part of Disney and to be a part of what I consider a big production… because I used to do my vlogging thing. Well, I still do my vlogging thing, but just to be a part of that big production and see how they do things, it was incredible. I think it took me to another level even with my production and how I do things, but we really, really enjoyed that.
Que: Yeah, I think I’m just going to say full circle because of being a part of something that inspires you or inspired to your whole life. Like anything attached to Disney was like, “Oh, my gosh!” Growing up, I said I want to be a part of that and to be able to be a part of that is like, Angels! Yes, yes!”
Emmanuel: And then the last thing, it goes again with our brand because I think they had a hashtag: better together, and that’s what we stand for, especially with us being Black, you know, the narrative is out there. We still want to show that we can be the model because we are better together.
What message of encouragement can you give someone who wants to get into singing or what inspiring message can you give to couples out there?
Emmanuel: Life, music, love. Live life with passion and commitment. I think some people think love is what somebody can do for them, but in love, it’s almost like a sacrifice. You have to give yourself to others. Once you give yourself to be used – I know we don’t want to use those words – but once we’re used for other people, that’s when we become valuable for that.
Que: I just always push commitment, commitment, commitment. Love matters, marriage matters, and who you do life with matters. Oftentimes, we look at the grass is greener on the other side, but we look at the result and not the effort that it took to get there. So, just commit to standing there through every season, and you come out on top.
Emmanuel: Because everybody wants to have a perfect relationship, but it’s an illusion. It is no perfect. You have to accept people for who they are. As they grow, you’ll start seeing the development, and the maturity within them as yourself.
Que: For sure. The more you work, work, work. This is your perfection.
If someone wants to follow you and your journey or ask questions about music, how can they do so?