Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät

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Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät
All four members performing on a stage.
The band performing at Provinssirock in 2013
Background information
Also known asPKN
OriginHelsinki, Finland
GenresPunk rock, outsider music
Years active2009 (2009)–2016, 2017
LabelsRed Lounge Records, Sony Music
MembersPertti Kurikka
Kari Aalto
Sami Helle
Toni Välitalo Edit this at Wikidata

Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät (Finnish for 'Pertti Kurikka's name day party'; pronounced [ˈpertːi ˈkurikɑn ˈnimipæi̯væt]; PKN) was a Finnish punk rock band, formed in 2009 in a charity workshop for adults with developmental disabilities. They are the main focus of the 2012 Finnish documentary film The Punk Syndrome. In 2015, they qualified for the finals of Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu, which they later won; they represented Finland in the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 but got knocked out in the semi-final. The group disbanded in December 2016 when guitarist Pertti Kurikka turned 60 years old and retired from playing punk rock.[1]


Formation (2004–2012)[edit]

Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät began in a workshop run by Lyhty, a charity for adults with developmental disabilities. In 2004, Pertti Kurikka, the future guitarist of the band, met organizer Kalle Pajamaa of Lyhty.[2] Pajamaa, who remains manager of the band today, noticed Kurikka's potential and sought to establish a band based upon him.[3] They worked on the band's formation over the next five years,[2] and in 2009 the band made its debut.[3]

In 2009, Finnish director Pekka Karjalainen sought music performed by people with disabilities for the film Vähän kunnioitusta,[4] which tells the story of a young girl with a learning disability aspiring to live an independent and normal life.[2] Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät is featured in the film with their first-ever demo: "Kallioon!".[2][5] The song became a hit, and the band soon discovered that they had a following outside the circle of disabled people.[4]

In 2012, their fame grew as they were the main subject of The Punk Syndrome, a Finnish documentary film. The documentary, depicting the band's story from its outset to their first European tour, earned them a following in Scandinavia and Germany.[6]

2014: Charity concert with Mr. Lordi[edit]

In 2014, the band performed in a charity concert with Mr. Lordi of the Finnish rock band, Lordi. The charity concert was held in Rovaniemi on 23 May 2014 for benefit of the mentally-disabled community of Mozambique and the Lapland Metkat Association.[7] Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät's bold and unusual take on Eurovision has been compared to that of Lordi, Finland's 2006 Eurovision entry and the winner of that year's contest.[citation needed]

2015: Eurovision Song Contest 2015[edit]

ESC 2015 Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät
ESC 2015 the interview

The band entered Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu, Finland's national selection for Eurovision Song Contest 2015 with the song "Aina mun pitää".[8] They entered the contest in order to raise awareness for people with Down Syndrome.[9] On 7 February 2015, the band was one of the three acts from the first-semi finals to advance to the finals.[10] On 28 February 2015, the band won Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu 2015, thereby becoming Finland's representative for the Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna, Austria in May 2015.[11] PKN was the first punk band to compete in Eurovision.[12]

PKN's Eurovision bid was noticed by the international media and covered, for instance, by the BBC,[12][13] The Guardian,[14] VICE[6] and the Associated Press.[15]

Posti issued a PKN stamp on 11 May 2015, eight days before the first Eurovision semi-final in Vienna.[16]

On 26 December 2016, the group performed their final concert, intended to mark Kurikka's 60th birthday, upon which he had long planned to retire from the music industry. The group disbanded after the show.

In 2017, the group re-united for a one-off charity concert.


The band had four members: guitarist Pertti Kurikka, vocalist Kari Aalto, bassist Sami Helle and Toni Välitalo on drums. All members have either Down syndrome or autism.[17]

Pertti Kurikka[edit]

Pertti Kurikka (born 26 December 1956 in Vihti)[18] is the band's guitarist. He writes the music for the band and also some of the lyrics.[19] He has released a spoken word cassette[20] and a book[21] of horror stories under the pseudonym Kalevi Helvetti. He also edits a zine called "Kotipäivä" ("Home Day").[22]

Kurikka has been listening to punk for 30 years, but also listens to many other music genres ranging from classical to schlager and disco to children's music.[23] He visits church regularly and retired from the music industry at the age of 60.[23] He can also play the street organ.[19]

Kari Aalto[edit]

Kari Aalto (born 25 May 1976 in Tampere)[24][25] is the singer of the band and also writes most of their lyrics. He is a school friend of Kurikka.[26] He has his own talk show on Finnish local radio station Bassoradio.[27] He can play drums, bass and keyboards.[26] He loves motorcycles, American cars, women and alcohol.[28][29] He listens to 1950s and 1960s rock, psychobilly, rockabilly, surf, reggae, doowop and also rap, heavy metal and folk.[25][28] He does not listen to punk in his spare time, as nowadays it is his profession.[25]

Sami Helle[edit]

Sami Helle (born 1973 (age 50–51))[30][31] plays bass in the band and also sings background vocals. As a child he lived in Boston, New York City, Paris and Antibes, so he can speak fluent English.[18] He is politically active as a member of the Finnish Central Party[32] and also as activist of Me itse, an organization of disabled people.[33] He wishes to become a municipal councillor of Helsinki and later a member of the parliament.[34]

Helle independently released a solo album, Blue Moments, under the name Sam Heat. The sound is more gentle, a musical departure from the punk sound of PKN. Helle wrote the music and lyrics for the entire album.[35]

Toni Välitalo[edit]

Toni Välitalo (born 1982 (age 41–42) or 1983 (age 40–41))[31] is the drummer and also the youngest member of the band.[36] He started playing drums at the age of six.[37] In addition to punk, he plays other genres such as jenkka, blues and mazurka.[37] His favourite music is Finnish schlager.[38]

Kalle Pajamaa[edit]

Disability director Kalle Pajamaa (born 1979) is the band's concert manager and arranges the songs for the band. He is affectionately called the fifth member of the band.[39]



Title Details Peak chart positions
"—" denotes an album that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Compilation albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions
Kuus kuppia kahvia ja yks kokis 17
  • Released: 2012
  • Label: N/A
  • Format: Box set with DVD, CD and cassette
Coffee Not Tea
  • Released: 2013
  • Label: Constant Flux
  • Format: Cassette
The Best of Greatest Hits
  • Released: 8 May 2015
  • Label: Epic Records
  • Format: Digital download, CD, LP
"—" denotes an album that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Extended plays[edit]

Title Details
Ei yhteiskunta yhtä miestä kaipaa
Päättäjä on pettäjä
  • Released: June 2011
  • Label: Headbands
  • Format: Cassette
Osaa eläimetkin pieree
  • Released: November 2011
  • Label: Mauski Records, Punk & Pillu
  • Format: 7-inch EP
  • Released: October 2012
  • Label: Airiston Punk-levyt
  • Format: 7-inch EP
  • Released: 20 November 2013
  • Label: Airiston Punk-Levyt, Punk & Pillu
  • Format: 7-inch EP
Mies haisee / Joe Weider
  • Released: February 2015
  • Label: Mauski Records, Punk & Pillu
  • Format: 7-inch EP
  • Split with Karanteeni
Oma rauha
  • Released: March 2015
  • Label: Airiston punk-levyt, Mutant
  • Format: 7-inch EP
12-inch split
  • Released: March 2015
  • Label: Blast of Silence Records
  • Format: 12-inch EP
  • Split with M.O.T.O.


Title Year Album
"Mongoloidi" 2014 Non-album singles
"Me ollaan runkkareita"
split with Hard Skin
"Aina mun pitää" 2015
"Pertti käyttää kondomia"
"Kännissä kotiin, aamulla töihin" 2016 Letkukytkentöjä


  1. ^ "Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivien viimeisellä keikalla Tapaninpäivänä oli hikistä, ahdasta ja tunteikasta eli aivan mahtavaa" (in Finnish). 27 December 2016. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d Arttu Tolonen (June 2013). "Never mind the mall punks, here's Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät!". Finnish Music Quarterly. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Nytpedia: Tällainen yhtye on Pertti Kurikan nimipäivät" [Nytpedia: This is what the band Pertti Kurikan nimipäivät is like]. Nyt (in Finnish). 2 March 2015. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
  4. ^ a b "The Story of PKN, the Finnish punk sensation ready to rock Eurovision". Nyt. 3 March 2015. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
  5. ^ Arto Mäenpää (13 January 2015). "Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät osallistuu Uuden Musiikin Kilpailuun" [Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät takes part in Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu]. KaaosZine (in Finnish). Retrieved 6 March 2015.
  6. ^ a b Hay, Mark (3 March 2015). "A Finnish Punk Band with Learning Disabilities Is Going to Eurovision". VICE. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  7. ^ "Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät point Mr. Lordi May Rovaniemi" (in Finnish). 2014-02-28. Retrieved 2015-02-18.
  8. ^ "UMK15 // PERTTI KURIKAN NIMIPÄIVÄT: "Aina mun pitää"" (in Finnish). Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu on Youtube. 2015-01-13. Retrieved 2015-02-18.
  9. ^ "Punk band with Down Syndrome looks to raise awareness in Eurovision Song Contest". 2015-02-02. Retrieved 2015-02-18.
  11. ^ "Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät win UMK in Finland!". 2015-02-28. Retrieved 2015-02-28.
  12. ^ a b "Finland punk band PKN set for Eurovision". BBC News. March 2015. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  13. ^ "Finnish punk band with a difference". BBC World Service. BBC. 2 March 2015. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  14. ^ Crouch, David (27 February 2015). "Finnish punk band with a difference take a punt at Eurovision title". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  15. ^ "Disabled punk rockers to compete in Eurovision Song Contest". Yahoo! Music. 1 March 2015. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  16. ^ "Let's cheer on Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät to Eurovision victory". Posti. 28 April 2015. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
  17. ^ Dor, Louis (6 November 2015). "Everyone in this completely awesome Finnish punk rock band has either Down's syndrome or autism". indy100. Retrieved 31 May 2021.
  18. ^ a b Jouni K. Kemppainen (13 February 2015). "Suomen euroviisuedustaja Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät pitää pissatauot ajallaan". Kuukausiliite (in Finnish). Helsingin Sanomat. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
  19. ^ a b "Pertti Kurikka (guitar)". Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved March 7, 2015.
  20. ^ "Kalevi Helvetti - Kertoo Kummitusjuttuja (Cassette, Album) at Discogs". Retrieved 2015-08-25.
  21. ^ ""Musta haamu tappaa" – Pertti Kurikan synkkä sivupersoona Kalevi Helvetti julkaisi kirjan - Kirjat - Nyt" (in Finnish). Retrieved 2015-08-25.
  22. ^ Tiina-Rakel Liekki (14 May 2015). "Suomen euroviisuedustajat henkilökuvissa". Kioski (in Finnish). Yle. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  23. ^ a b "Pertti Kurikka: "Idea Euroviisuihin osallistumisesta oli minun" - Kodin Kuvalehti" (in Finnish). 2 March 2015. Retrieved 2015-08-25.
  24. ^ "PKN:n punkkarit saivat kotimatkalla kuninkaallisen kohtelun: Ykkösluokka, kapteenin tervehdys, lahja henkilökunnalta - Euroviisut - Kulttuuri - Helsingin Sanomat" (in Finnish). 2015-05-24. Retrieved 2015-08-25.
  25. ^ a b c Noora Jussila (19 February 2015). "Onnen päivät - Vihreä Lanka" (in Finnish). Retrieved 2015-08-25.
  26. ^ a b Maiju Majamaa. "Viisusuosikki Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät -tähtien koskettavat elämäntarinat: "Äitiä oli aina ikävä"". Ilta-Sanomat (in Finnish). Archived from the original on 2015-06-07. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
  27. ^ "Euroviisupunkkari Kari Aalto isännöi taas Basson ohjelmaa -" (in Finnish). Archived from the original on 2015-04-03. Retrieved 2015-08-25.
  28. ^ a b Siina Leppä. "PKN-laulaja Kari Aalto kertoo nolosta kokemuksesta Ray:n lehdessä – sai ravintolaan porttikiellon". Ilta-Sanomat (in Finnish). Archived from the original on 2015-06-07. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
  29. ^ "YLE". Archived from the original on 2015-02-21.
  30. ^ "Suomen euroviisuedustaja Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät pitää pissatauot ajallaan - Euroviisut - Kuukausiliite - Helsingin Sanomat" (in Finnish). 2015-02-13. Retrieved 2015-08-25.
  31. ^ a b Maiju Majamaa (2015-01-24). "Viisusuosikki Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät -tähtien koskettavat elämäntarinat: "Äitiä oli aina ikävä" - Musiikki - Ilta-Sanomat". Archived from the original on 2015-06-07. Retrieved 2015-08-25.
  32. ^ Hilkka Säävälä (2015-02-24). "Keskusta uhoaa voittavansa jo euroviisutkin - Yle Uutiset". Retrieved 2015-08-25.
  33. ^ "Sami Helle - Kehitysvammaisten tukiliitto ry" (in Finnish). 11 March 2015. Archived from the original on 11 March 2015. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  34. ^ "YleX" (in Finnish). 4 March 2015. Retrieved 2015-08-25.
  35. ^ Sam Heat's Blue Moments on YouTube
  36. ^ "Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät HSTV:n haastattelussa: "Tuli tunne, että nyt tulee Surun pyyhin silmistäni" - Euroviisut - Kulttuuri - Helsingin Sanomat". Retrieved 2015-08-25.
  37. ^ a b Kirsikka Kiviniemi (2015-03-03). "PKN-viisurumpalin isä: Tällainen Toni oli lapsena - Euroviisut - Ilta-Sanomat" (in Finnish). Archived from the original on 2015-06-07. Retrieved 2015-08-25.
  38. ^ "UMK-kilpailijat valmistautuvat iltaan: yksi takoo Katri Helenaa, toinen etsii kadonnutta ääntä - Euroviisut - Kulttuuri - Helsingin Sanomat". 2015-01-14. Retrieved 2015-08-25.
  39. ^ "Nimipäiväjuhlien järjestäjä". Kouvolan Sanomat (in Finnish). 5 January 2013. Archived from the original on 16 March 2015. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
  40. ^ a b Hung, Steffen. "Discography Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät". Finnish Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung).

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by Finland in the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by