Tyler Q. Rosen on Musician Thomas Muchimba ButtenshØn HIV Story in Doin’ My Drugs Doc [Exclusive Interview]

Tyler Q. Rosen
Tyler Q. Rosen directed Doin’ My Drugs documentary about the musician Thomas Muchimba ButtenshØn.

Tyler Q. Rosen knew his musician friend Thomas Muchimba ButtenshØn was going to save the world. ButtenshoØn invited Rosen to film a short movie about music. However, after learning more about his friend, the story became about enduring the HIV diagnosis life and educating his home country of Zambia about HIV through music.

Coinciding with AIDs World Day today, Doin’ My Drugs is a profound and personal look at the extraordinary life of musician Thomas Muchimba ButtenshØn as he uses music in an effort to wipe out AIDS in his native Zambia and beyond.

Born in Zambia in 1985 to a Zambian mother and Danish father, ButtenshØn was diagnosed with HIV positive as an infant. After emigrating to Denmark with his family for treatment, Thomas lost both of his parents to AIDS at the age of nine and became deathly ill himself at 13. Upon regaining his health after beginning antiretroviral (ARV) treatment, he threw himself into music, and at 20, became a Danish pop star.

After marrying and fathering two sons, Thomas reconnected with family in Zambia and was shocked to discover that the country remains trapped in a senseless HIV/AIDS epidemic. While he is able to live a full and healthy life with the virus, a staggering 13 percent of Zambians who are infected with HIV remain untreated because of the social stigma attached to the virus and the resulting reluctance to get tested, despite the availability of free treatment from their government. Determined to make a difference, Thomas has dedicated his life to using music and his own story to raise awareness about HIV and treatment in Zambia. Teaming with an extraordinary group of Zambian musicians, Thomas embarks on a crusade to wipe HIV and AIDS in Zambia, and throughout Africa.

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LRM Online’s Gig Patta chatted with director Tyler Q. Rosen on his directorial debut of Doin’ My Drugs. We talked about Thomas Muchimba ButtenshØn’s life, his music, and double coordinating the documentary and organization of the music concert in Zambia.

Doin’ My Drugs released digitally today.

Watch the exclusive interview below. Let us know what you think.

Source: LRM Online Exclusive, Doin’ My Drugs

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