Finnish punk band PKN (Pertti Kurikan Nimipaivat) isn’t your typical group of musicians. All four members have Down Syndrome, and some are also autistic, but that doesn’t stop the group from jamming together.
You may remember seeing the group in “The Punk Syndrome,” a documentary that followed the band as they expressed themselves through punk music while raising awareness about Down Syndrome.
The band is currently competing to represent Finland at Eurovision this spring. Eurovision is a European music competition that has been held annually since 1956. It’s kind of like an amped-up American Idol in that each country holds auditions and selects one performer to represent itself in the contest.
The band’s guitarist, Pertti, is a big fan of the Eurovision competition, and is especially excited about the chance to compete.
“Pertti the guitarist for example is a big fan of Eurovision contest. Their families are supportive as well as the fans. Even the punk scene has been very supportive for the guys,” said the band’s manager, Kalle Pajamaa in an interview with Sputnik News.
The band says they are hopeful their performance will raise awareness of Down Syndrome and aid social programs for the mentally challenged.
PKN consists of Pertti Kurikka (guitar), Kari Aalto (singer), Sami Helle (bass) and Tony Välitalo (drums). The band formed in 2009 at a workshop held by Lyhty, a nonprofit dedicated to helping adults with intellectual disabilities. The subjects of their songs vary, ranging from social problems to unpleasant pedicures.
PKN plans to perform its song “Aina Mun Pitaa,” which translates to “Whenever I Have to” during the contest. You can listen to the band perform it in the video below.
Good luck, PKN, and thanks for all the hard work you’ve done raising awareness for intellectual disabilities!