Punk band with Down Syndrome looks to raise awareness in Eurovision Song Contest
A punk band from Finland is looking to make this year’s Eurovision Song Contest a little more interesting.
PKN (Pertti Kurikan Nimipaivat) is a four-piece punk band whose members all have Down Syndrome—some are also autistic. They’ve been playing together for the last six years and were the centerpiece of a 2009 documentary called “The Punk Syndrome,” which explored the band as a vehicle for self-expression and raising awareness about Down Syndrome.
The band formed in a charity workshop for adults with intellectual disabilities, and The Independent reports that this year they’re hoping to bring more awareness to their cause by competing in the Eurovision Song Contest.
Eurovision is kind of like the Olympics for pop songs, but only in Europe. Also like the Olympics, none of the winners are people you’d hear about in regular life—the only Eurovision champs you’d probably recognize since the event’s founding in 1956 are Celine Dion and ABBA.
So suffice it to say that a Finnish punk band with Down Syndrome will be a break from the norm. PKN winning Eurovision would be about the only thing that would make the contest really noteworthy on a global level.
The Independent notes the song they plan to submit is “Aina Mun Pitaa,” which translates to “I Always Have To.” Take a listen:
The contest winner will be announced in Vienna, Austria—this year’s Eurovision host country—on May 23rd. Before getting to the finals PKN will have to beat out 17 other Finnish bands to represent their country at Eurovision.
But judging the career arcs of past years’ winners, these guys have already won just by raising the awareness that they have so far.