Ben Kouijzer is a Live Music Agent at United Talent Agency, a premier global talent and literary agency representing many of the world’s most acclaimed figures in every current and emerging area of entertainment and media, including motion pictures, television, music, digital, broadcast news, books, theatre, video games, fine art and live entertainment.
Kouijzer works in the music division which represents a diverse selection of artists such as Brian Wilson, Craig David, Foals, Bring Me The Horizon, Chvches, Muse, Christine & The Queens, Mariah Carey, Jungle, Ry X, Roger Sanchez and many more.
We spoke with Kouijzer to get an in depth look at what it takes to steal his job.
Name: Ben Kouijzer
Job title: Live Agent
Company: United Talent Agency
What does your job role entail?
In a nutshell, my job is to book singers, bands and DJs to clubs, concerts and festivals. I spend my time strategising tours – where our clients should play, when and why – whilst speaking with promoters and artist managers and working out the best financial deals for my artists. I travel a lot to see shows – in the UK and around the world. It’s an exciting, fast-paced job.
Describe your working day or week?
The job is 24/7 and every day is different. I work with clients and promoters around the globe and I need to be available to make business happen, so the day doesn’t end at any particular time. Mon-Fri I am at my desk 10am-6pm unless I am in meetings or travelling back from events or festivals. Whilst I am at my desk I am booking tours, pitching artists to promoters and festivals, listening to new music – there’s so much to do, and there’s no fixed routine.
What key skills do you need to do your job?
You need to be extremely professional, communicative, creative, confident. Since I work in music, part of what I do is spotting talent early on – you need good ears for that. You need great networking skills, and most importantly, you need to be passionate about music. It’s the passion that gets you through those 4am Sunday morning calls.
What made you decide to go for this job role?
I love music and I love dealing with people so it made sense.
Best part of your job?
Getting to work with my musical heroes and being a part of their success. Developing acts from playing to 50 people in a room, to 10,000 and beyond – it’s very rewarding.
Worst part of your job?
Checking out of a hotel room without ever having had chance to get into the bed.
Most memorable moment at work?
There have been so many incredible moments it’s hard to pick one, but Craig David playing to 25,000 people on the Sonic Stage (Silver Hayes) at Glastonbury this summer stands out. The reaction from the crowd when he came on caused the hairs on the back of my neck to stand up. Midway through the set I just stopped and looked around, people were lighting flares and singing along to the likes of Fill Me In, Seven Days and Walking Away and I just felt so lucky to be doing what I do. It was one of the most incredible moments of my life and I’ll never forget it.
I’m heading to the Space Ibiza closing Fiesta this weekend and have two of the most important names in house music playing, Erick Morillo, and Roger Sanchez. It’s the last party ever at Space after 27 years of ibiza history…it will no doubt be both memorable and emotional.
If I’m choosing a course to study, what type of course suits this job best?
A degree isn’t essential but I have a degree in music technology, and it’s the music business modules which have benefited me the most. Any business management course will benefit you in this role however on the rare occasion that it has come up, I do think artists respect that you’ve done something at degree level specific to what they do. It’s great to have that knowledge up your sleeve, whether its production techniques, or understanding acoustics, or just how to set up a mixing desk; you never know when you’ll need it.
Does work experience really help you to get the dream job?
Yes. People seem reluctant to give you a chance unless you have experience, and it’s hard to get experience if nobody will give you a chance. Do whatever you can to get your foot in the door and the rest is up to you.
Give us a tip on how to steal your job.
You don’t need to steal my job, just come and work at UTA – there are thousands of amazing artists around the world, plenty for everyone.