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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
125Lolo ZouaïUSParadigm (N. America), Coda (RoW)
1394Slow LightsUS-
1433Leven KaliUSUTA (excl. N. America)
1555ElohimUSCircle, Coda
1718Flora CashSwedenUTA (RoW), Paradigm (Americas)
1878YeekUSParadigm (US), Coda (Europe)
1931Julia JacklinAustraliaCollective (Aus/NZ), ATC (Europe), Paradigm (N. America)

For more details about the Radar Station, contact [email protected].


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