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Rebel With A Cause - The forthcoming book from the legendary music-industry executive Darcus Beese

Published 15 August by Nine Eight Books in hardback, eBook and audiobook 


‘Rebel With A Cause’ is the remarkable story of Darcus Beese: legendary music-industry executive, OBE and a man Music Week described as “one of the great A&R people of his or any generation”.

It is the inspirational story of how a teenage Londoner (and apprentice hairdresser) worked his way up from being the ‘tea boy’ to becoming the President of one of the UK's biggest and most successful record labels - Island Records. From signing and nurturing some of the greatest artists of the twenty-first century including Amy Winehouse, Mumford & Sons, Dizzee Rascal, Florence and the Machine and more,  to him moving to New York to run Island USA but becoming despondent at what he saw and encountered.

To be published on 15 August through Nine Eight, the dedicated music imprint of Bonnier Books UK. Pre-order available now from HERE.

Alongside Darcus's career successes, ‘Rebel with a Cause’ is also the story of a young man raised in musically fertile and politically febrile times. Activist parents Darcus Howe and Barbara Beese were prominent activists in west London, and members of the Mangrove Nine, during a time when racism was rife, not only on the streets, in schools and on the terraces, but also in the highest institutions of power. Fighting for equality - for himself and for his artists - has therefore been inevitable for Darcus. This is the incredible tale of an inspirational leader and rebel with a true cause. 

Darcus Beese said: ‘It feels unreal to me. As a kid I never thought or dreamed that one day I would be writing my story, let alone having it published. But now I think why not me? Growing up in a family of activists, a mother and father who fought to change British society, I’ve always understood the importance of using your voice, always felt a duty to speak my mind and stand up for what was right. Writing the book, looking back over my fifty plus years, I really appreciate how blessed I am to have such a strong beautiful family and to have enjoyed the most amazing experiences working alongside some of the greatest musical talents. Hopefully there’s plenty more to come. If this book inspires one kid to believe in themselves, to stay true to themselves, then it’ll be worthwhile.’

Pete Selby - publishing director of Nine Eight Books - said: ‘Darcus is one of the truly great music people of the past twenty-five years; a compassionate firebrand, musical zealot and no-bullsh*t ringleader. But Rebel With A Cause is also a book about family – be that growing up with his revolutionary parents Darcus Howe and Barbara Beese, at his second home of Island Records or the impact and influence of his own children. It’s an incredible story about how one man played a system which was stacked against him from birth and ended up going all the way to the top.’


‘Rebel With a Cause’ will publish on 15 August in hardback, eBook and audiobook.

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