YOUR PARTNER IN MUSIC BUSINESSAbout Kees van Weijen
Experienced Entrepreneur & Music Marketeer
Currently Kees is very active in the music industry Tech sector. In the social media sphere with streaming, NFT’s , YouTube, Spotify, Deezer, TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and the likes. Right in the middle of the current developments. Areas including live music entertainment, music education, music production, artist management, marketing and PR.
Kees has been working in the entertainment industry in The Netherlands, Belgium and Great Britain since 1969. Specialised in management, digital exploitation, sales & distribution and consultancy. Moderator and panellist. Self-made man & team player.
Throughout his career Kees has worked for Universal Music as Executive Vice President, Managing Director for Mercury Records, Def Jam recordings, Interscope, Motown, Island, Verve and many others.
Managing Director MCA Benelux, Universal Music Netherlands, Polydor, with artists such as INXS, Status Quo, U2, Kiss, Elton John, Dire Straits, LIVE, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, No Doubt, U2, Mary J. Blige, Lionel Ritchie, Andrea Bocelli, and Co-owner Rough Trade distribution Benelux. Caro Emerald, Kyteman, Tiësto, Wombats, Jamie Lidell labels like A&M.
In 2011 the Dutch IFPI (NVPI) awarded him with the Zilveren Fonograaf for his outstanding contribution in the music industry. In 2006 Kees received a special Edison Music Award for being chairman of the Edison foundation from 1994 till 2006. During this time Kees supervised the organisation of the Edison Music Awards ceremonies, for Pop Classics and Jazz. i.e. the ‘Dutch Grammy.
Kees was Chairman (2013-2017) and subsequently President of IMPALA (2017-2021) and now serves as executive board member. In 2022 Kees received the IMPALA Outstanding Contribution Award for his relentless work towards a stronger European independent music sector. He also served on the board of WIN and is President of the Dutch independent label association STOMP (Stichting Onafhankelijke Muziek Producenten in the Netherlands).
Your partner in music business for over 50 Years
Currently Kees is very active in the music industry Tech sector. In the social media sphere with streaming, NFT’s, YouTube, Spotify, Deezer, TikTok, Instagram Facebook and the likes. Right in the middle of the current developments. Areas including live music entertainment, music education, music production, artist management, marketing and PR.
In the capacity of owner of his company HIT4US, since 2004, Kees can be approached about anything concerning sponsoring, new media, consultancy, A&R, distribution, strategy and artist management.
IMPALA (2011 - now)
Kees was elected boardmember in 2011, was Chairman for 4 years (2013-2017) and subsequently President of IMPALA for 4 years (2017-2021). He now serves as executive board member. In 2022 Kees received the IMPALA Outstanding Contribution Award for his relentless work towards a stronger European independent music sector.
IMPALA was established in April 2000 to represent independent music companies. 99% of Europe’s music companies are SMEs. Known as the “independents”, they are world leaders in terms of innovation and discovering new music and artists – they produce more than 80% of all new releases and account for 80% of the sector’s jobs. IMPALA’s mission is to grow the independent music sector sustainably, return more value to artists, promote diversity and entrepreneurship, improve political as well as financial access and inspire change. IMPALA has its own award schemes to highlight the artistic contribution of independent music and tell the story of the individuals and projects who make the sector exceptional.
President of STOMP (Stichting Onafhankelijke Muziek Producenten). STOMP is the trade association of independent music labels in the Netherlands.
WIN (2015 - 2021)
Kees was board member of the WIN (Worldwide Independant Network) board for 6 years. The Worldwide Independent Network connects, supports and develops independent music trade associations globally.
Founded in 2006 in response to shared issues faced by the music sector everywhere, WIN brings together local independent music trade associations throughout Australasia, Asia, Europe, North and South America, representing thousands of music companies and professionals worldwide.
In addition, Kees also had several other responsibilities; amongst others he was member of the Mega Charts steering committee, board member of the CPG, board member of the NVPI and chairman of the Edison foundation.
In 2006 Kees received a special Edison Music Award for being chairman of the Edison foundation from 1994 till 2006.
During this time Kees supervised the organisation of the Edison Music Awards ceremonies, for Pop Classics and Jazz. i.e. the ‘Dutch Grammy
In 2011 the Dutch IFPI (NVPI) awarded him with the Zilveren Fonograaf for his outstanding contribution in the music industry. Read more
Arvato, Rought Trade & PIAS (2003-2019)
Kees started his own company, HIT4US in 2004.
In June 2004 Kees was asked to work for Arvato Entertainment Services, a Bertelsmann company. Kees organised the reorganisation of Zomba Distribution to Rough Trade Distribution (its original name) as Managing Director. Built it with distribution 320 labels including Caro Emerald, Chef’Special, Yori Swart and Eefje de Visser. He also set up a ringtones service and digital services.
In 2004 a management buy out was initiated and Kees became Managing Partner. From 2014 to 2019 there was a collaboration with PIAS distribution.
Mercury Records & Universal Music (1999-2003)
After the takeover of Polygram by Universal, Kees became managing director of Mercury Records. Five years later he was Executive Vice-President of Universal Music Nederland, mainly occupied with anything and everything to do with ‘New Media and Strategy’ as well as sponsoring. An important new development in the revolutionary digital age, with downloads and ringtones was streaming. Kees worked with artists like Marco Borsato, Beck, Sting, De Dijk, BZN, Karel Kraayenhof, Enrique Iglesias, Sugarbabes, U2 and Eminem. He also worked with ID&T and Stage Holding Musicals.
MCA & Universal Benelux (1994-1999)
Kees’ fondest memories however, are of his very succesful period with MCA Records. On January 1st 1994 he took on the challenge of turning the MCA label into an independent record company in the Benelux and opening the MCA Benelux offices in Hilversum and Brussels.
The first office opened on April 1st, and on the 5th of April Kurt Cobain shot himself in the head. A chaotic start, which eventually became a great success, with projects such as Aerosmith’s ‘15 Big Ones’, ‘Hell Freezes Over’ by The Eagles, number 1-hits such as Aqua’s ‘Barbie Girl’, Coolio’s ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’, No Doubt’s ‘Don’t Speak’ and of course the mega hit ‘Nirvana Unplugged’. Within three years, Kees had set up a successful company from scratch, with only a small team, and an annual turnover of 35 million guilders and a market share of 5%.
In 1997 Seagram bought MCA and the name changed to Universal Benelux.
IMS, Polygram Video & Polydor (1988-1994)
In 1988, after seven years of international experience, Kees longed for national repertoire. At IMS (Import Music Service), back in Hilversum, he set to work closing deals for smaller bands, for whom there was no place with major Polygram. When Kees joined IMS, it was close to bankrupcy, but three years later it was a thriving company. Kees’ biggest success was the album “Voor u Majesteit” by the Dutch singer Paul de Leeuw, which sold 60.000 copies. In addition he set up Polygram Video. In 1991 Kees was asked to become Polydor’s general manager.
Polygram International (1985-1988)
In the mid-eighties,Kees left for London, where he worked three years at the Polygram International headquarters as product manager, for artists including Van Morrison, INXS, but also Nana Mouskouri, Elton John and KISS. The extremely varied range of artists means that Kees feels at ease with any genre.
Phonogram International (1981-1985)
In the early eighties, Kees was asked to become head of the promotion department for Phonogram International. In those years he worked with artists such as Elton John, Dire Straits, Status Quo and INXS. He organized 3 European promo tours with KISS and other artists. Kees was involved in many sponsor deals and was part of the team that introduced the compact disc. In addition he was actively involved in the marketing and promotion of this new configuration. He was responsible for the promotional side of the “Philips presents Dire Straits”-tour which was a unique concept at the time. During that time of 7 years, Kees spent on average 2 days a week up in the air travelling and supporting artists.
Polydor (1974 – 1981)
He started working for Polydor in 1974. Kees began as radio plugger, but was appointed Head of the Promotion department within a year. In the next five years he worked extensively with top acts such as the Bee Gees (he worked at the heart of the disco hype of ‘Saturday Night Fever’) and ABBA. Polydor is also known for signing artists like Marco Borsato, Roxy Music, The Jamm and Herman van Veen.
Involved in deal making, marketing, promotion and introduction of new products all local and international
Adviser to artists, mangements and entertainment companies
A wide experience of 48 years in the entertainment industry
Former vice president of Universal Music Holland.