Thomas Buttenschøn
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Thomas Buttenschøn

Copenhagen, Denmark | Established. Jan 01, 2005 | INDIE

Copenhagen, Denmark | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2005
Solo Pop Singer/Songwriter

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"World AIDS Day 2015: HIV positive musician Thomas Muchimba Buttenschøn putting on free concert for people who take HIV test"

The 1st of December is World AIDS Day, and millions of people around the world will be wearing red ribbons to raise awareness of the ongoing AIDS pandemic.

Danish singer Thomas Muchimba Buttenschøn, whom was born HIV positive, is doing something truly unique to get people tested for HIV: he’s putting on a concert where, instead of purchasing a ticket, you take an HIV test.

Buttenschøn is putting on the concert for the Muchimba Music Foundation - which he co-founded - in the hope of spreading his message of “positivity through music”.

According to the foundation’s page, Buttenschøn was born in Africa to a Danish father and Zambian mother. In 1985, the year he was born, both parents were diagnosed HIV positive and died in 1994, when he was just 9 years old.

Soon after he discovered a love for music, and 12 years later scored a number one album in Denmark with Fantastic Monday.

The upcoming concert will take place in Buttenschøn’s birth place of Zambia, the “epicenter of the global fight against the spread of HIV and AIDS”. According to Avert in 2012, one in seven adults in the country are living with HIV, with life expectancy standing at 49.4 years.

Along with Buttenschøn, four of Zambia’s leading artists will perform. The hope is concerts like this will spread throughout Africa in subsequent years.

The Muchimba Music Foundation statement reads: “[We are] dedicated to raising awareness through the power of music. Cofounder Thomas Muchimba Buttenschøn has spread his messages of positivity and hope through his pervasive and powerful music.

“Music is a powerful tool. The Muchimba Music Foundation harnesses that power and uses music to enlighten, to empower and to draw people together.”

For more information on World AIDS Day visit here and to donate to The Muchimba Music Foundation visit here. - Independent UK


"Thomas Buttenschøn Just Wants to Change the World"

On Saturday, June 20, a modest-sized crowd gathered at The Forge to watch Thomas Buttenschøn play a solo acoustic set. Already well-established in his hometown of Denmark, Buttenschøn has released five studio albums in his decade-long career. He is currently at work on his sixth, and touring with his new material. But the mere superficiality of fame is not what he’s after. Buttenschøn has a message he wants to communicate through his music.

Born in Zambia, Buttenschøn endured a difficult childhood. Both of his parents contracted HIV, which led to him contracting it at birth. He lost his parents at an early age, and continues to struggle with the symptoms of his illness. Buttenschøn seeks to raise awareness about the virus, and he is able to do so in a way that people find much more accessible than many other kinds of advocacy: his relatable, heartfelt songs.

Buttenschøn took his time getting into the first song, strumming the chords idly and then stopping to relay humorous anecdotes and observations. He then started in on the first song “Keep on Talkin,” which featured clever, socio-cultural lyrics over breezy barre chords.This was followed by a slow dirge; a song he professed was dedicated to his birthplace of Zambia. Its dulcet melody and lullaby singing eclipsed and calmed any lingering restlessness that remained in the still-arriving crowd. By the next song, the crowd was dead silent, utterly entranced. A portion of the crowd dotting the white half-shell of a wall swayed hypnotically, following Buttenschvn’s every word. Other highlights of the show included a song about an albino from Zambia. Its soft fingerpicked melody was so breathtakingly beautiful and heart-achingly raw, that it was almost difficult to clap after the final chord was struck.“Doin’ My Drugs,” his song which refers to the strict regimen of prescription medication Buttenschøn must take in order to combat his HIV, was one of the most well received of the night.

It was clear from this show that Buttenschøn has tapped into a uniquely powerful energy. His work is strong, soulful and confident, and reflects the man behind the songs. He also has the rare courage to do more than just entertain. As he said himself that Saturday night, “The goal is simple: I just want to change the world with my songs.” - Culture Collide


"Zed Me Free, A Concert to End HIV, Tests 10,802 People"

In exchange for taking a free rapid HIV test, thousands of Lusaka residents got a chance to dance, enjoy music and food, and have a good time well into the night in an open arena at the “Zed Me Free, A Concert to end HIV” on Nov. 28 in Zambia.

The event, organized by The Muchimba Music Foundation and local partners, kicked off a couple of weeks prior to the concert, with a series of testing “roadshows” provided by AIDS Healthcare Foundation Zambia – mobile clinics offering rapid HIV testing, condoms and linkage to care for HIV positive clients, and free tickets to the “Zed me Free” concert. In the lead up to the main event and during the concert, over 10,000 people got tested for HIV.

“The concert started at 2 p.m. and went on until 1 a.m., with unprecedented demand for HIV testing,” said Dr. Penninah Iutung, AHF Africa Bureau Chief. “This kind of free event has never happened in Zambia, it was great opportunity to draw a crowd and make testing conveniently available. We saw a lot of young people having a great time.”

The concert was headlined by Thomas Muchimba Buttenschøn, a renowned Danish musician and co-founder of The Muchimba Music Foundation who was born HIV positive. Through music and his foundation, Buttenschøn spreads the message of positivity and hope as he travels to and performs around the world.

Other top talent from Africa included Macky 2, Mampi, Afunka, Chef 187 and B Flow, among others. A local radio station, Hot FM covered the concert live from the event venue. Representatives from the Ministry of Health attended the concert and praised the organizers for an outstanding event with a positive public health message.

“Music is a universal language that can overcome fear and stigma, and give people a sense of hope and strength, that’s why combining this concert with easily accessible free rapid testing has proven to be such a success,” said Francis Kasonde, Prevention Programs Manager for AHF Zambia. - AIDS Healthcare Foundation


Discography

2006 - Fantastiske Mandag - Noob Factory, Playground Music Scandinavia
2008 - Billeder Af Min Baggård - Noob Factory
2010 - Køter - Universal Music
2011 - Venden Der Blaeser - Universal Music Group
2014 - Sange Der Ikke Er Til Radioen - Voksenvaerk
2015 - Cana's Album - Whalefilm

2017 - Doin' My Drugs - Whalefilm

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Bio

Thomas Buttenschon exploded onto the Danish pop scene in 2005 with his debut album "Fantastic Monday". He has a total of 7 studio albums now. The first 5 were sung in Danish, but his last 2 are sung in English.

Thomas latest album, Doin’ My Drugs, will be released in conjunction with a feature documentary about his life (also titled Doin’ My Drugs) which are both set to release in 2019. Doin' My Drugs is poised to put Thomas on the map in North America.

Doin’ My Drugs is an emotionally charged, inspiring 90 minute documentary intended to raise awareness about the ongoing HIV/AIDS epidemic in Zambia, and the developing world.

Our film follows the personal transformation of musician Thomas Muchimba Buttenschøn, born HIV+ in Zambia in 1985 to a Zambian mother and Danish father, from his early treatment, the loss of both parents to AIDS, his own near death experience, his rise as a pop star in Denmark, to his passionate crusade to eliminate the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS.

Recognizing that his native Zambia remains trapped in a horrific and senseless AIDS crisis - 16% of the population is infected with HIV, while many antiretroviral drug treatment programs which keep the virus dormant are widely available though government programs for free - Thomas is inspired to use his music and his personal story of survival and triumph to confront the stigma and prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS once and for all… beginning in Zambia, with the expanding goal of spreading the message across the globe. 

Can songs save the world? For Thomas, the answer is yes…

Band Members