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CAA’s Hugh Parsons plans ‘Ride for Ben’ fundraiser

Hugh Parsons, assistant to late CAA agent Ben Kouijzer, is planning a nearly 1,000-mile sponsored bike ride in memory of his close friend and mentor, who died from cancer late last year.

Kouijzer, an electronic music agent at Creative Artists Agency in London, passed away in November after being diagnosed with malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumour (MPNST), a rare and aggressive form of cancer. He was just 36.

Parsons, who remains with CAA, is cycling the length of Great Britain, from Land’s End in Cornwall to John o’Groats in the Scottish Highlands, to raise money for Sarcoma UK, a charity that supported Kouijzer throughout his battle with cancer.

At press time, Parsons has raised more than £6,000 for Sarcoma UK for the 1,500km ride, which he will do in ten days in the company of his friend, Max.

“Ben was a very special person who I was lucky enough to call a close friend and mentor,” explains Parsons. “We first met through his brother, Christiaan, who DJed at one of my Stevie Wonderland shows in Manchester in 2015, and Ben and I stayed in touch since, ending up with me working for him at CAA. Among so many huge life lessons, Ben taught me to make time for everyone, park your ego, be as fair as possible, and to stay positive.

“Ben taught me to make time for everyone, park your ego, be as fair as possible, and to stay positive”

“Ben passed in Mexico at the end of 2020 following a long struggle with an uncommon cancer called a sarcoma (or MPNST), which initially infected his back and later his lungs. He was a fighter through and through; however, the final blow was dealt by Covid.

“In between Ben’s two diagnoses, he signed up to run the London marathon for Sarcoma UK but was not able to. I will be following through on Ben’s promise to Sarcoma UK and raising the money Ben would have raised in his name. Charities have been hit especially hard by Covid, and this has been felt even more acutely by already underfunded sarcoma researchers.”

The ride will see Parsons and Max average 150km a day and climb over 15,000m (the equivalent of nearly two Everests), burning the same amount of calories as 14 marathons. “It’s a pretty mad idea, but inspired by Ben, I’m sure we’ll pull through,” Parsons adds. “Please give generously!”

To donate to the ‘Big Ride for Ben’, click here to visit the fundraising page on JustGiving.

 


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Ben Kouijzer’s funeral to take place this weekend

The funeral of Ben Kouijzer, the popular CAA agent whose death last month devastated his colleagues and friends in the industry, will take place in London this Saturday (12 December).

Kouijzer, formerly of UTA, passed away aged 36 in November from complications related to malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumour, an aggressive form of cancer for which he had he had been receiving treatment since summer 2019.

Paying tribute, Emma Banks, co-head of CAA’s London office, said everyone who met Kouijzer “immediately loved him”, describing the agent as a “fantastic agent, but more than that simply a great human being”.

The funeral will be streamed live on Vimeo, allowing friends from across the world to attend the event, which starts at 1pm GMT. Those wishing to view the stream are advised to log on 15 minutes early.

To watch the funeral, simply bookmark this page, or go directly to the event page on Vimeo: vimeo.com/event/528786.

 


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UK CAA agent Ben Kouijzer passes aged 36

Ben Kouijzer, an agent for CAA UK and formerly UTA who represented electronic acts including 808 State and Meduza, has passed aged 36 of kidney and liver failure.

Kouijzer was diagnosed last summer with malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumour (MPNST), a rare and aggressive type of cancer, for which he underwent surgery and radiotherapy.

The cancer later metastasised to Kouijzer’s lungs, which doctors said was incurable.

Kouijzer and his fiancé, Lotte Bowser, moved to Tijuana, Mexico in September for treatment, and Kouijzer tested positive for Covid in late October. He also battled pneumonia, influenza, sepsis and other infections while in intensive care.

His passing was announced on Sunday via his Go Fund Me page, which had been created to draw donations for his treatments. At the time of writing, the campaign has raised over £250,000.

“It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Ben. He fought so hard and we are so so proud of him but in the end it was too much for him. A combination of factors lead to kidney and liver failure and he passed away in the early hours of Sunday morning. We are beyond devastated. We are all hurting together,” the announcement reads.

Emma Banks, co-head of CAA’s London office, issued the following statement to Variety: “Today is such a sad day for everyone at CAA and particularly those who worked closely with Ben in the music department. It’s a testament to the man that while he had only been working with us for a couple of years, we are mourning a lifelong friend. Everyone who encountered Ben immediately loved him – he was a fantastic agent but more than that, he was simply a great human being.

“It’s a testament to the man that while he had only been working with us for a couple of years, we are mourning a lifelong friend”

“He was so brave tackling his cancer and with his beloved fiancée Lotte by his side he was determined to try every possible option to beat the disease. Ben is an inspiration to us all. He may be gone but he will never be forgotten and his spirit, soul and the love that he shared will remain with us forever. We send all of our love and condolences to Lotte and to Ben’s family and friends.”

Tributes have been pouring in from across the live music industry, with Kouijzer’s client, Meduza, writing: “Throughout the last 2 years you have been inspirational for us. We had so much more to do together, so many more fun times to share, so many more plans to implement and enjoy together, you made our teams craziest dreams come true in such a short period of time.

“From the moment we met you, we knew what our team were telling us about you was true. A truly magical human being, full of love and not a bad word about you from anyone. We were proud to have you in our corner.”

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Lotte Bowser (@lottebowser)


DJ and producer Roger Sanchez tweeted: “Ben Kouijzer was not only the best agent I have ever worked with, he was one of the kindest, honest and universally loved person I know. A true warrior – from the dojo to the agency, to the way he faced cancer, he always gave 100% and never backed down. Ben, we will miss your presence on this planet tremendously but we will love you and remember you forever. In the words of the 100: Your fight is over Ben-Com-Skai Kru. May we meet again.”

Elsewhere in the electronic community, SG Lewis tweeted: “Heartbreaking news about Ben Kouijzer. One of the nicest guys in music, and loved by so many. RIP Ben.”

While DJ Got Some wrote: “Gutted to hear about Ben Kouijzer passing away. I want to send my regards to his family & GF. This guy was a proper stand up dude.”

Kouijzer is survived by his fiancé, Lotte Bowser, who wrote: “You had suffered so much these past 7 months, and you were too tired to go on. Fly high and return home to peace now my love.”

 


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CAA’s Ben Kouijzer fundraising for cancer care

CAA London agent Ben Kouijzer has thanked the international live music industry for its “incredible love, support and generosity”, following a groundswell of support for his fundraising campaign to pay for cancer treatment.

Kouijzer, 36, turned to crowdfunding site GoFundMe after being diagnosed with malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumour (MPNST) – a rare and aggressive form of cancer of the connective tissue surrounding nerves, which in Kouijzer’s case later metastasised to his lungs.

After being told by doctors that the lung cancer would eventually kill him, Kouijzer “immediately began an ongoing process of researching every possible thing that I could do (conventional and integrative) to change the course of history I found myself on,” he explains, “discussing different treatments, arranging tests, ordering supplements, radically changing diet, speaking to therapists, embracing meditation and breathwork, taking in as much information as we could and trying to make sense of it all.”

MPNST is non-chemosensitive, meaning it doesn’t respond to chemotherapy. Doctors in the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) suggested operating on one lung at a time to remove as much of the cancer as they can, and then follow up with chemotherapy to “manage the disease”, Kouijzer continues.

“We are embracing surgery with open arms, and feel fortunate to have an amazing surgeon within the NHS, but bog-standard chemo that isn’t likely to work just doesn’t feel good enough for a long term outcome.”

“We are more hopeful than that,” he adds, explaining that “there are other forms of treatment, targeted therapies and immunotherapies that can in some cases have better outcomes that we want to explore after surgery. Eligibility for these depends on certain genetic mutations which need to be tested for using expensive molecular testing and DNA sequencing – something that is not available as standard through the NHS. If I have certain genetic mutations, I might be eligible for some of these more promising treatments, and maybe even beat this thing!

“If I have certain genetic mutations, I might be eligible for some of these more promising treatments, and maybe even beat this thing”

“While I’m not turning my back on the NHS, who have been in so many ways amazing up until this point, we need to form the right team of people, do the necessary testing and create an individualised treatment plan for me, no matter what or where in the world this takes place.

“I just don’t have the financial resources to do all of this alone.”

Kouijzer, who is currently in hospital recovering from the first of the lung surgeries, says he has been “blown away” by the support for the fundraiser – which includes donations from friends, wellwishers and colleagues in the concert business – which smashed through its £50,000 target within a matter of hours on Friday 8 April.

At press time, the GoFundMe stood at over £117,000 – every penny of which will be put towards “treatments further down the road”, says Kouijzer, whose CAA roster includes electronic music acts 808 State, Meduza, Tough Love and Bearcubs.

“Thank you so much, everybody – I can’t tell you how this makes me feel,” he adds. “It’s been a lonely week in hospital but the support I’m feeling today is just unreal.”

To donate to Kouijzer’s campaign, visit Ben Kouijzer’s fight to survive MPNST on GoFundMe.

 


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“Special” Meduza were June’s fastest-growing new act

Rising Italian producers Meduza, who reached No2 in the UK singles chart in February with their breakthrough, ‘Piece of My Heart’, were the hottest new artists in June 2019, the latest Radar Station chart reveals.

Hailing from Milan, the trio – Mattia Vitale, Simone Giani and Luca De Gregorio – were signed to Polydor in the UK and Virgin in Germany after impressing at Amsterdam Dance Event, in what has been called the “hottest signing in recent years”. After debuting with a remix of Friendly Fires’ ‘Heaven Let Me In’, their first original material, house smash ‘Piece of Your Heart’, featuring British act Goodboys, picked up more than 7m streams on Spotify and 6m on YouTube in the space of two months, and also propelled them to the top of the US Billboard Dance Club Songs chart.

CAA’s Ben Kouijzer, who represents the band outside North America, tells IQ: “When Serg and Kevin from Club Class/Komplete played me ‘Piece of Your Heart’ at ADE, it was love at first listen – I knew Meduza had something special. They had just signed the record to Virgin Germany and Polydor UK in a JV, and we all believed it would be the biggest dance record of the year.”

Despite the “incredible commercial success” of ‘Piece of Your Heart’, Kouijzer says Team Meduza have focused establishing “foundations in the underground club circuit at cutting-edge house venues, nurturing a grassroots fanbase of house music lovers” and setting the stage for festival performances and headline shows beyond 2020.

“We all believed it would be the biggest dance record of the year”

The Radar Station algorithm calculates the fastest-growing new artists by combining data across a number of online platforms, including Spotify, Facebook, Songkick and Last.fm. Last month’s No1 was Texas-born rapper Megan thee Stallion, who become the first artist to successful defend her title, after initially topping the chart in April.

In second place in June was New Zealand folk singer-songwriter Aldous Harding (repped by ATC Live’s Clémence Renau in Europe), who climbs from No28, while Jade Bird (booked in the UK by Olly Hodgson at Coda) rose one place, to fourth, in a consecutive strong showing for the Tony Visconti-approved Brit.

See below for a Spotify playlist of this month’s top 20, plus the full chart with links to artists’ Facebook pages and booking agency details.

This monthLast monthArtistCountryAgency
1-MeduzaItalyCAA (RoW), Spin (US)
228Aldous HardingNZATC (Europe), Panache (US), Collective Artists (Aus), Julian Carswell (NZ)
34Jade BirdUKCoda (UK), Paradigm (US)
414No RomeUKPrimary, Paradigm
539NOTDSwedenCoda (Europe), WME (RoW)
62Fontaines DCRepublic of IrelandATC (Europe), Paradigm (US)
737Jakob OgawaNorwayTime Out (Norway), Primary (Europe), Paradigm (Americas)
842Emotional OrangesUSX-ray Touring, WME
96Maisie PetersUKCAA (excl. N. America)
109Kelsey LuUSWME, Primary
1130DynoroLithuaniaCoda
125Lolo ZouaïUSParadigm (N. America), Coda (RoW)
1394Slow LightsUS-
1433Leven KaliUSUTA (excl. N. America)
1555ElohimUSCircle, Coda
1650MorMorCanadaWME
1718Flora CashSwedenUTA (RoW), Paradigm (Americas)
1878YeekUSParadigm (US), Coda (Europe)
1931Julia JacklinAustraliaCollective (Aus/NZ), ATC (Europe), Paradigm (N. America)
2026Col3traneUKPrimary

For more details about the Radar Station, contact info@theradarstation.com.au.

 


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