Los Angeles, California (The Hollywood Times) 09/23/2020- In honor of Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month, Chords2Cure will host their first Virtual Benefit concert, HOME SWEET HOME. The event will feature unforgettable performances by the Chords2Cure performers and chart-topping recording artists. Swig Media is a proud sponsor of the event. The Hollywood Times interviewed one of the Co-Founder of Chords2Cure, Juliette Pegula.
THT: You are a singer-songwriter from LA. Tell us about your music.
Julia Pegula: I’ve been writing songs since I was in 1st grade (I think the first title was Peace La La La for the school talent show ) and I’ve never stopped. Songwriting is a way for me to channel my emotions into a story that reflects my inner world. My songs are about love, loss, and strength, feeling alone as a teenage girl growing up in a fast-paced, challenging, and inauthentic world. I released my first single, Day By Day (Apple Music, Spotify, Soundcloud) when I turned 18 exactly one year ago. My songs reflect stories of my life. I think I’ve written at least 60! I now have about 8 songs that will be produced this school year so I will finally have an EP sharing my story with others.
You co-founded Chords2Cure. Tell us why this is so important to you.
When I first attended Middle School, I met an amazing friend named Jaxon who was also serious about music and the kindest person I had ever met. Jaxon ended up having a rare form of liver cancer, chemotherapy, surgery and a liver transplant. He was 11 years old. I felt so completely helpless and scared and didn’t know how I could help make things better for him. I prayed for him every night (still do) and finally decided to put together a concert with friends of Jax and mine who also play instruments and sing. At the same time, my older brother’s classmate, Mafalda was also battling a rare form of bone cancer called Ewing Sarcoma. How was it possible that 2 kids from my new school had lethal cancers? Our friends and parents enthusiastically jumped on board to help organize what we named “Chords2Cure” and it became such an incredible experience of friends and families helping to bring awareness, funds, and music to help our friends battling cancer as well as all kids and teens and families dealing with this horrible disease. My mom and I have had an opportunity to work together all these years (she is the Musical Director of our concerts) and my entire family has been involved (my oldest brother Kai was an Emcee and my younger brother Cole took photographs while my dad assisted backstage). The families of Jax, Mafalda and many of the performers poured their hearts and energy into making Chords2Cure a success. We became an official non-profit organization this past year. I learned that we really could make a change for people by doing what we love (music) and it moved me deeply to see Jax and Mafalda participate and shine in the concerts.
Tell us about your virtual concert “Home Sweet Home,” on September 26th.
Due to COVID-19 our 6th annual Chords2Cure concert was cancelled. Our cast and crew had been working for months rehearsing, organizing and planning and we had to cancel just a few days before the concert date. We were devastated. Chords2Cure Home Sweet Home is our first virtual concert featuring our talented teen cast members ranging in age from 13 – 20 years old along with special celebrity guests and surprise musical artists. Once again our community is coming together to help kids and teens battling cancer. It’s going to be an amazing concert!
What excites you about the concert?
I’m really excited to hear everyone’s songs in an intimate setting. I haven’t ever been able to actually watch any of our concerts because I was always on stage or back stage, so this is special for me to actually get to watch the concert from start to finish. I’m so proud of all the work everyone has put into this endeavor. I’m also excited for our musical guests! I am in awe of these artists)!
Why is this concert in particular during the pandemic a reason for people to support your cause?
I think the whole world is going through a vulnerable and scary time with a lot of uncertainty about the future. There is so much fear and vulnerability experienced by people around the globe. Kids and teens who are diagnosed with cancer are in a category so unique and terrifying because very little government funding is allocated to pediatric cancer research. September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month and our Home Sweet Home Concert will give others an opportunity to be connected and supportive of our mission to eradicate pediatric cancer through the magic of music. I’ve learned one of the best ways to create meaning and connection is to give back. We want to share our music with you!
Who are the Artists joining you?
We have a cast of awesome teens who are singers and musicians, many embarking on professional musical careers along with celebrity guests such as Courteney Cox, Helen Hunt, Molly Shannon and a few insanely talented musical artists including Ryan Tedder and Drew Brown from One Republic. (I wish I could reveal everyone!) These artists are inspiring and AMAZING and would be performing around the world if it wasn’t for Covid. We are so lucky to have them join us! Come join us on Saturday September 26th at 5:30PM PDT! You can donate to get a special Access Code to the concert by visiting www.concert.chords2cure.tv
Do you have any additional thoughts?
I want to thank you for taking the time to get to know about Chords2Cure and why we do what we do. My hope is to inspire others to make a difference in the world using their passion and talents. It’s hard to believe that our little concert we put together in 2013 when we were in 7th grade generated $10,000 for Jaxon and Mafalda’s oncologist, Dr. Noah Federman’s research at UCLA and then grew over time with each successive year. We have donated over 600k to Dr. Federman in 6 years. His breakthrough research is making a difference for pediatric cancer. When you care about people there is always a way to help! Please visit www.chords2cure.org to learn about us and join our Chords2Cure family of kind, supportive teens, young adults and parents whose mission is to end pediatric cancer!