Beats Drop Cancer Gives Back
There are a lot of good people in the music industry giving back to their communities through initiatives like benefit concerts to non-profits like HeadCount that register voters at music festivals. One of those non-profits, Beats Drop Cancer, is doing truly remarkable things to provide free treatment to cancer patients through music therapy in California. Beats Drop Cancer founder and CEO Dmitry Kras went Behind the Beat to tell us about the work he is doing with some of the top electronic music artists to fight cancer, the progress they’ve made and how we can help.
Only The Beat: Let’s start from the beginning, what is Beats Drop Cancer?
Dmitry Kras: Beats Drop Cancer is a non-profit that is becoming a music therapy clinic for cancer patients in Santa Cruz. Treatment for patients will be 100% free!
OTB: What genre of music is the focus of Beats Drop Cancer?
DK: It started out with electronic dance music, but now we are focused on all kinds of music. Whatever our patients want to hear, we will provide for them.
OTB: Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get involved with the music industry? Why did you start Beats Drop Cancer?
DK: I broke into the music industry six years ago in Miami. I had an opportunity to invest in a electronic dance music agency/management firm. Turned out to be the wrong investment, but several powerful industry professionals contacted me to go out on my own. They said “we love you and we have your back,” so I did. I also always wanted to do charity work. My first event helped the Palm Beach School for Autism get their new school. After that, I helped Homes for Haiti after the earthquake to raise money. These two events gave me some recognition by The Denver Advocacy Group, which is an organization that supports disabled children. I helped them as well. I have never taken a penny for my time. Fast forward to 2015, I get nominated for Man of the Year by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Bay Area chapter. Monica Salazar, the co-founder of BDC and my campaign manager for Man of the Year and I worked very hard on the campaign. The campaign I came up with was called…Beats Drop Cancer. All along I didn’t want it to end and wanted to continue this campaign. And it hit me, we are going to open a music therapy clinic for cancer patients and do what we can to save lives! Ultimately, this is how I am honoring the most important person in my life, my grandmother who passed away from breast cancer.
OTB: What artists and organizations have you partnered with already?
DK: We have partnered with The Crystal Method, Bobby Puma, John Beaver (who is a cancer survivor), Gabriel & Dresden just to name a few artists. We partnered with Winter Music Conference, Sirius XM, V-Moda, Shure and Give A Beat to name a few organizations.
OTB: What is your short term and long term goal for Beats Drop Cancer?
DK: Short term, I would like to have the BDC clinic in Santa Cruz opened within the next year. We have already received a few instrument donations as well as a bit of capital. We are also weighing the option of renting a building or buying land and building it ourselves. Long term…expansion!! I would like to be able to open at least three more over the next five years. But let’s get the first open and then we can talk more about the future!
OTB: You were honored by the American Music Therapy Association. Can you tell us about this experience?
DK: They reached out to me and named me an Advocate for the AMTA. I felt stoic…they told me “they have been dreaming of someone like me falling in their laps”.
OTB: How can our readers help the mission of Beats Drop Cancer?
DK: Your readers can help by sending donations via Paypal to [email protected]. Or they can send In-Kind donations, items that will help us raise money via raffles or auctions. They can e-mail us for the address. They also can just go and share our website beatsdropcancer.com, our Facebook page, Twitter, etc. Help us spread our message. This is a big task…I estimate that we need to raise at the very least $250,000 to open the first clinic.