Ben Kouijzer, a music agent for CAA UK who represented electronic acts such as 808 State and Meduza, has died of kidney and liver failure after battling cancer. He was 36.
Kouijzer was diagnosed last summer with malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor, or MPNST, and underwent surgery and radiotherapy, according to his GoFundMe page. But in April, he learned that the cancer had metastasized to his lungs. Kouijzer and his fiancé, Lotte Bowser, moved to Tijuana, Mexico in September for treatment, and Kouijzer tested positive for COVID-19 in late October.
His death was announced via GoFundMe on Sunday. “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,” the post reads. “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.”
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. 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.”
Bowser also paid tribute to Kouijzer in a heartfelt Instagram post, writing: “While the pain of losing you is ripping through every cell in my body, I would’ve rather experienced a love like this for 7 years – so deep, so intoxicating and so unconditional – than to have never loved or be loved at all. I will love you forever, in this lifetime and in every other lifetime to come.”
Kouijzer attended the University of Derby, where he studied music technology and audio systems design. He worked as an agent for MN2S, The Agency Group and UTA before arriving at CAA. His roster of clients included 808 State, Meduza, Tough Love and Bearcubs.
Members of the electronic dance community took to Twitter to remember Kouijzer. Meduza wrote a heartfelt message on Instagram, saying: “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.”
SG Lewis wrote, “Heartbreaking news about Ben Kouijzer. One of the nicest guys in Music, and loved by so many.”
Heartbreaking news about Ben Kouijzer. One of the nicest guys in Music, and loved by so many. RIP Ben ❤️
— SG Lewis (@SGLewis_) November 15, 2020
Huxley tweeted: “Gutted to hear about the passing of BK. Rip brother.”
Gutted to hear about the passing of BK. Rip brother. x
— hux (@Huxley_Music) November 15, 2020
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.”
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. 💔 pic.twitter.com/7xn5C9hXDd
— G o t S o m e (@GotSomedj) November 15, 2020