Danish Doin’ My Drugs Documentary Star Thomas Buttenschon Performs Concerts, Presents Book and Screens American Documentary in China
Two years ago this January, Danish pop star and TV personality Thomas Machimba Buttenschøn screened American Tyler Q Rosen’s landmark documentary Doin’ My Drugs as a work in progress with a live performance in snowy Park City, Utah to a capacity crowd. Since then, the film made its world premiere at the prestigious documentary festival CPH:DOX*, accompanied by an all-star cast of Zambian musicians who toured Denmark with him after.
Now, this coming week, Buttenschøn and Rosen are on their way to China for a series of concert performances, screenings, readings, public appearances and panels, culminating in a Beijing performance on World AIDS Day, December 1.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark and the Royal Danish Embassy in Beijing organized this program as part of the HIV Awareness Week in Shanghai and Beijing leading up to World AIDS Day on December 1st. The choice of Buttenschøn — a former judge on the country’s wildly popular Denmark’s got Talent (Danmark Har Talnet) is reflective with his and his family’s personal experience with HIV/AIDS, his renown in the country and the importance of the film Doin’ My Drugs.
Buttenschøn will perform five concerts, beginning November 26th through December 1st, and both Buttenschøn and Rosen will participate in several talks and panels in each city. The concerts will be comprised of songs from Doin’ My Drugs itself. Buttenschøn’s newest song, “Keep on Talking,” will be debuted to the world during these concerts as well. Additionally, Doin’ My Drugs will screen on November 27th at 7:30 PM at the Danish Cultural Centre. The Centre is located on 2 Jiuxianqiao Rd, Chaoyang, Beijing, P.R. China.
The live performances take place as follows:
November 26th –
– Solo concert by Buttenschøn at YYT Livehouse at 8:00 PM (851 Kaixuan Rd, Changning, Shanghai, P.R. China);
November 27th –
– Unplugged performance by Buttenschøn at Danish Cultural Centre at 7:30 PM (2 Jiuxianqiao Rd, Chaoyang, Beijing, P.R. China);
November 29th – – Concert by Buttenschøn at CloudNine Bar at 8:00 PM (29 Zizhuyuan Rd, Zi Zhu Qiao, Haidian, P.R. China);
November 30th –
– Intimate concert by Buttenschøn at The Danish Cultural Centre, 798 International Arts District, 706 Beiyi Jie, 2 Jiuxianqiao Lu, Chaoyang Qu, Beijing 100025
December 1st –
– Concerts by Danish artists Thomas Buttenschøn and Asbjørn in celebration of World AIDS Day at Post Mountain Art Space at 8:00 PM (North to T8 Building, Dangdai MOMA, No.1 Xiangheyuan Road, Dongcheng District, Beijing)
The documentary film Doin’ My Drugs is the story of musician Thomas Muchimba Buttenschøn—born HIV-positive in 1985—and his crusade to use his music to wipe out AIDS in his native Zambia and beyond. Doin’ My Drugs aims to raise awareness about the ongoing HIV/AIDS epidemic in Zambia—a country of 17 million people where more than 1.2 million are HIV-positive or have the disease. Zambia’s situation is mirrored throughout the developing world.
A father to two young children, Buttenschøn has kept his HIV in check and his family virus-free, by “doin’ his drugs.” He recognized that his native Zambia remains trapped in a horrific and senseless AIDS crisis. While a significant percentage of the population there is infected with HIV, many antiretroviral drug treatment programs that can keep the virus dormant—“a near-zero viral load” as Buttenschøn says—are widely available through government programs for free.
Buttenschøn has recorded a full studio album in Los Angeles, USA and Lusaka, Zambia with 16-time Grammy®-winning producer, Thom Russo Jr. That album is titled Doin’ My Drugs and will become the official motion picture soundtrack. He’ll be debuting a new single, “Keep On Talking,” on his tour, which will be available in China soon.
Buttenschøn has also set up a foundation, the Muchimba Music Foundation, to help his supporters, collaborators and himself on their journeys. His goal is to test upwards of 100,000 Zambians by expanding his foundation’s Test-for-Ticket concert series into a country-wide tour of Zambia. The Muchimba Music Foundation’s initial concert in Lusaka tested 10,802 people and enrolled those who tested positive into patient care treatment programs. MMF is currently fundraising to meet his goal.
“I’m so pleased to be able to have the support of four countries in my journey,” concludes Buttenschøn. “We’re planning to use this China tour and trip to build momentum for my music and my message worldwide: get tested, get treatment, and do your drugs to keep the disease in check. It’s possible if you only try. Music CAN change the world.”