A battle of the bands began November 8 that will rage until November 26. Competition is fierce, but in this case, the musicians are all fighting to win the same war—the war on cancer.
It’s Music Beats Cancer’s latest crowdfunding challenge, in which selected musicians and bands from around the world compete to raise the most money for cancer-fighting innovations. Using social media, email blasts, and shoutouts from the stage, these independent artists ask their supporters to donate to this worthy cause through the 501(c)(3) charity’s online platform. More than 800 acts applied to participate. Only 35 were chosen.
The money raised during this crowdfunding challenge will support biotech innovators who may otherwise need to abandon their cancer-fighting research for financial reasons. Music Beats Cancer’s mission is to increase the number of medical technologies in the product-development pipeline and ensure more solutions make it to those in need.
“This competition is a true demonstration of the power of music,” says Dr. Mona Jhaveri, founder of Music Beats Cancer. “Our artists are micro-influencers, sharing their mission and raising funds. Many have struggled with cancer directly or have witnessed its burden through people they love. Our purpose has become their purpose.”
The two top acts who raise the most money will earn a valuable prize. The winning artists’ music will be featured on the jumbotron at the iHeart Jingle Ball 2021 at Capital One Arena in Washington, DC, on December 14.
“It’s huge exposure for both the winning artists and for Music Beats Cancer,” says Jhaveri, who notes that Jonas Brothers, Doja Cat, Megan Thee Stallion, and Black Eyed Peas are scheduled to perform at the iHeart Jingle Ball 2021. “This competition could get stiff at the last hour, as only the two artists who raise the most will be declared winners. The pressure is on!”
Fans who want to get involved can scroll down the leaderboard to find their favorite band. Clicking on an artist’s link takes them to a page where they can find out more about the group and donate.
All the competitors want the prize, and all the artists are passionate about the cause. Below, five contenders weigh in on how it feels to participate in this exclusive contest.
Houston-based singer/songwriter Jermany brings her captivating R&B, pop, and hip-hop mix to Music Beats Cancer’s challenge. She is thrilled to take part in this competition. “It is truly an amazing feeling!” she says. “I feel so blessed and so grateful. I have been praying for an opportunity like this for a long time.”
As someone whose family has been touched by cancer, Jermany knows firsthand what she’s fighting for this November. At age 12, she watched her 16-year-old sister face surgery to remove a lump in her breast.
“I thank God it was found early,” she says. “I can’t imagine the toll that could’ve taken on my family. My aunt is also a breast cancer survivor. I really hope to raise more awareness about cancer research.”
Matthew Alec and The Soul Electric
Matthew Alec and The Soul Electric is a five-piece fusion ensemble out of Cleveland, Ohio. The group skillfully blends the technical artistry of jazz with the carefree sound of pop.
“My band and I are tremendously honored to be included in this one-of-a-kind competition,” says Alec. “We are humbled to be one of the acts selected. Our number one concern is raising as much as we possibly can for this tremendous cause!”
During the challenge, Alec will be honoring his fiancée, who lost her mother to cancer at a young age. “It happened a couple of years before we met,” he says, “but in many ways, it’s had a profound effect on her life trajectory and, in turn, on mine as well.”
Pierre Marmignon, A.K.A Max M, is probably best known for founding Norskale, but he’s also a music producer whose upbeat electro music has been streamed over six million times. He joins the fight against cancer from a small town in the north of France.
Marmignon and his family have a firsthand understanding of the urgency of this fundraiser. “My grandfather passed away because of cancer,” he says. “Others in my family were able to beat it, and one is currently fighting.”
“I feel honored to be selected for such a great cause,” he says.
From Faenza, Italy, MoMa lends its progressive folk/punk sound to the fight. The four musicians are ecstatic to be a part of Music Beats Cancer.
“It’s incredible!” says Andrea Rossi, the band’s drummer. “The initiative immediately seemed very interesting and original. There are many fundraisers for the fight against cancer in Italy, but none that directly involve emerging independent music. We are extremely proud to support this initiative with our music in front of such a large audience.”
Rossi has a particular reason to share her music in the fight for this cause. She and MoMa’s guitarist Maurizio Morsiani lost a close friend and bandmate to cancer several years ago.
“We started playing together at the age of 17 at school,” remembers Rossi. “At that time, we had a trio, The New Methods, with our friend and classmate Leo on bass. Unfortunately, he left us because of cancer.”
Rossi also lost her mother to cancer just a year ago. She is moved to do whatever she can for the cause.
“We all have a moral duty to leave a better world for our children and our children’s children,” she says. “Defeating cancer is one of the challenges we must overcome!”
MoMa is eager to contribute to the fundraising challenge. “Being selected is already a victory for us,” remarks Rossi. “Playing music beyond our borders is wonderful, and if you call us for a US tour, we are ready!”
Raya Dize rallies fans to support Music Beats Cancer’s fundraising challenge
Los Angeles-based solo artist Raya Dize joins the battle with classically inspired arrangements featuring strings and piano. As a singer/songwriter who focuses her music on societal issues, she didn’t have to think twice about taking part in Music Beats Cancer’s crowdfunding challenge.
“I feel incredibly honored to be a part of this organization,” she says. “Healing through music has always been my goal. This opportunity is a dream come true.”
Dize is excited to raise awareness by aligning her craft with the cause. “My goal is to help people by making music and donations,” she says. “That has always been my purpose.”
Who Will Win?
Energy and passion will mount this November as these musicians and the other contestants jockey for the two top spots on the Music Beats Cancer leaderboard. Positions can shift daily, and last-minute twists have characterized previous challenges.
Music Beats Cancer’s unique approach to fighting the war on cancer makes it one of the best charities to donate to on Giving Tuesday. So on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, please consider making a donation through Music Beats Cancer’s Giving Tuesday campaign on Facebook.
In the end, raising money for cancer-fighting innovations means we all win.