The Internet at the Speed of Thought

Breaking the Barriers of Sound: Meet the Punk Band with Down Syndrome

at5:05 pm | By

Punk to the Core

Some of the best people in life are the ones who break stereotypes, who tear apart walls that society has established and achieve feats that many of us aren’t even capable of.

Meet Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät (PKN), the Finnish punk rock band that has been smashing stereotypes since 2009. Not only are they a famous musical group, but each of their members has Down syndrome or is otherwise on the autism spectrum.

I know what you’re thinking: just because they have Down syndrome doesn’t mean they’re not the same as the rest of us/ able to do whatever they want. That’s not the point though: these guys are awesome, and inspirational stories always deserved to be shared.

band down syndrome intro

Source: Facebook/ Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät

Start the slideshow below to learn more about PKN and see them in action; their performance at an international competition will blow you away. Afterwards, why not SHARE their story?

Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät

band down syndrome 1

Source: Facebook/ Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät

Author Kate Rockland once wrote, “In reality, punk people are usually the gentlest, kindest folks you’ll ever know. They’re like hippies, only they wear way more black.”

The history of this band goes back to 2004, when lead guitarist and namesake Pertti Kurikka met Kalle Pajamaa, an organizer behind Lyhty, an organization for adults with developmental disabilities.

In 2009, Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät made its debut with Pajamaa as manager. Within the year, they established a following outside of the disabled community, especially after the 2012 documentary film The Punk Syndrome focused on the band and told their story.

Punk Rock

band down syndrome 2

Source: Facebook/ Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät

All four members are talented musicians with varied and active interests in other areas such as politics and partying, but it is their love for punk that brings them together.

Guitarist Pertti Kurikka, singer and lyricist Kari Aalto, bassist and vocalist Sami Helle, and drummer Toni Välitalo range in age from 32 to 59, but their knack for music and unique disabilities give them a special bond that has taken them to international fame.