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.”
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.”
(This article was published in IQ Magazine on 16 November, 2020. Click here to read.)