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Kees van Weijen awarded IMPALA outstanding contribution prize

By | Published on Wednesday 22 June 2022

Francesca Trainini (IMPALA Chair), Kees van Weijen, Helen Smith (IMAPAL Executive Chair)

IMPALA – the pan-European grouping for the independent music sector – has awarded Kees van Weijen its Outstanding Contribution To The European Independent Music Sector Award. Van Weijen is President of Dutch indie label trade body STOMP and is also a former President of IMPALA itself.

Beginning his career in 1974, van Weijen started out as a radio plugger at Polydor, working his way up the hierarchy at that label and its parent company Polygram, including a stint at its London office. Then, in the 1990s, he launched and ran the Benelux office of MCA Records. When MCA was acquired by Seagram and subsequently merged with Polygram to create Universal Music, he held a number of executive positions at the mega-major before leaving in 2003.

Since 2004 he has run his own music consultancy HIT4US, while also being very active in the music distribution space, along the way working with Bertelsmann’s Arvato Entertainment Services, Rough Trade Distribution and [PIAS] Distribution, and in doing so collaborating with and supporting a plethora of independent labels.

As a result, he also became an active member of the indie label community. That in turn led to stints as President of IMPALA and as a board member of the World Independent Network. And he remains President of the STOMP organisation in the Netherlands.

Confirming the presentation of the Outstanding Contribution award to van Weijen, IMPALA Executive Chair Helen Smith comments: “Kees’ contribution to the European music sector has proven exceptional. This award highlights his commitment to the sector and his constant presence on the ground pushing the values of the independents all across Europe and helping to make central and Eastern Europe an integral part of IMPALA”.

Van Weijen himself adds: “I am very honoured to receive this prestigious Outstanding Contribution award by IMPALA. Working with all the independent trade associations in Europe over the years has given me so much energy”.

“In an ever changing and evolving music industry”, he goes on, “it has always been my goal to achieve a level playing field for all the artists, musicians and label staff. Being recognised with this award gives me great pleasure and I appreciate it a lot. I could not have achieved our goals without the support of the board, staff and committees of IMPALA. It has always been a joint effort”.

Van Weijen previously won the Dutch IFPI’s outstanding contribution to the music industry award in 2011, so this new trophy will go nicely with that one.