How did this wonderful group come together?
Three of us are sisters, myself, Cynthia Lacquicia whom we call "Q" and Shilia, and Charlotte better known as "Cee". We came together in another group which failed horribly before it even got off the ground. The person who set it up basically did so as a means to financially support himself. But I told him from the beginning if this fell, I would continue because I had a dream and a huge desire to sing. After he gave us the shaft, I asked the other ladies of the group if they wanted to go with me as I believed in myself and I hoped they believed in their talents and gifts to move forward and they agreed. A few months later Jackie Rhett, a long time friend who is no longer with us, joined.
Did you all grow up in Knoxville?
No, Shilia grew up in Middlesboro KY, and Jackie grew up in Savannah Ga. I had the pleasure of traveling with my aunt and her husband as a military brat, traveling most of America. My teen years were spent in Knoxville. "Q" and Cee are the only ones who grew up in Knoxville.
How do you create your songs? Do you all have input on the songwriting?
Great question, I pray and ask for insight on how to tell the same story we have all heard from childhood with a right now sound, with today's verbiage. I do all the song writing, but there are times I ask everyone's input on how they feel or would speak to someone about let's say "hope without saying the word hope". Then I take everyone's input and blend it into the words of the song so each person's personality, and vision is shared.
Where do you record?
We normally work with Eric Copeland, of Creative Soul Records, out of Nashville TN.
Your music is a wonderful blend of different genres. Besides gospel, what other genres do you really enjoy singing to the most?
I love R&B and since we grew up country, it's in our blood (laughing).Our mom introduced us to blues and jazz. In my alone time I enjoy practicing singing jazz.
Is the gospel scene pretty large in Knoxville?
Yes, Knoxville loves it's gospel singing. Mostly church singing, if you're thinking of going beyond church singing, then you have to travel to Nashville, Chattanooga, Atlanta, or some place which offers greater opportunity. Possibly just relocating.
Who came up with your group name?
I came up with the group name, "Equal Sisters" before the other two ladies joined us. It was just the three of us. An acquaintance who started working with us asked us what we were calling ourselves and when I told him he said that was too plain. I'm going to give you the Greek equivalent to that name "Konai (equal), Adelphe (sisters). I liked the sound and we went with his suggestion.
Being in a group of five, do you ever have disagreements?
(Laughing) Yes, we are all highly opinionated women. At times we have to take a trip to the upper room. We have come to agree to disagree on all the small things. The major things we as one, we move as one.
What have you been working on lately?
Right now we are warming up our pipes getting ready to perform at the 4th Annual Baton Rouge Soul Food Gospel Festival. Also, we are working on a new CD hopefully by the fall of this year.
Any big plans for the rest of 2021?
We would love to start traveling again, sharing our message and we are open if anyone has a slot to fill, call Konai we are open for adventure.