Illustration of a mouth with stitches and a colorful background.
Check out the next big rock stars. (Illustration by Giovanna Martin, Columbia College Chicago)
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Illustration of a mouth with stitches and a colorful background.

The 2021 Eurovision winner has won the hearts of young people across the globe, gaining widespread acclaim and popularity.

Cool, coarse and catchy, Måneskin’s music calls out to something primal within its fanatic fanbase and casual listeners alike. The Italian rock band is edgy and new. Singing erotic songs about subservience and heart-wrenching tales of disease and disorder, Måneskin demands people vocalize their deepest wants and emotions. Like other famed rock bands — such as Led Zeppelin and Nirvana — Måneskin’s compositions are harsh and feature strong instrumentation. The group’s popularity signals a reemergence of rock within general public listenership.

Måneskin was born through the friendship and talent of four Italian teenagers in Rome. Back in 2016, Damiano David (lead vocals), Victoria De Angelis (bass), Ethan Torchio (drums) and Thomas Raggi (guitar) came together to form something raw and challenging yet coursing with universal appeal. Choosing the name Måneskin — the Danish word for moonlight — the four musicians entered the Pulse Contest and began their journey toward celebrity.

At the beginning of the Italian rock band’s career the group played on the streets of Rome. Their music was, as it still is today, alive and intimate. Performing only feet away from passersby, Måneskin appears natural among the hustle and bustle of Rome. They play with ease. Despite the group’s grandiosity and glamour performing on stages in front of thousands, Måneskin seems equally at place in casual clothes with only a humble crowd of spectators.

David hits notes with his eyes closed as he busks with his fellow bandmates. Dancing to the sound of their own music, the members of Måneskin seem to truly feel the power of their songs to the point where you, the listener, can’t help but move along too.

The influence and energy of Måneskin’s music is not limited to the band’s street performances. Although the element of proximity is lost in the band’s exuberant on-stage displays, the musicians’ passion and showmanship is not.

In 2017, Måneskin competed on “X Factor Italia,” eventually winning second place and furthering their rise to widespread fame. This is where David, De Angelis, Torchio and Raggi start to come into their rock star personas. With lights ablaze, Måneskin takes command of the X Factor stage. Sporting eccentric costumes and outrageous backdrops to match, the Italian musicians are born performers. Fans bellow when they see the band materialize onto the stage’s central platform and quiet as they begin to play. Mesmerized by the music, the audience’s screaming only reemerges after the group completes their cover performances of songs such as “Beggin’” by The Four Seasons and “Somebody Told Me” by The Killers.

After their stint on the X Factor, Måneskin gained enough traction to release their first album, “Il ballo della vita,” as well as a documentary following the album’s creation, titled “This is Måneskin.” To many groups this would be the perfect time to take a break and fully bask in success, but Måneskin isn’t like any other band. They are boundlessly ambitious.

The Italian group continued to tour and drop new singles throughout 2018-2020, releasing chart-topping hits such as “L’altra dimensione” and “Le parole lo lontane.” From behind-the-scenes clips of the band members during this time, there is only one sentiment that fully describes their being: They are rock stars. Raggi is vibrant and consistent on the guitar. Torchio grounds the band with his drums. De Angelis is wild and carefree, playing her bass with energy and ease. And lastly, there is David, effortlessly cool, putting on the performance of his life no matter the occasion or the size of the crowd.

Måneskin’s momentum continues in the year 2021. In fact, this is the year the band’s hard work carried them to worldwide renown. Performing as strongly as ever, Måneskin won first place at the Sanremo Music Festival 2021 with their hit new single “Zitti e buoni.” During this performance the band managed to be bigger and grander than ever before, accompanied by the Sanremo Orchestra.

Days after Måneskin’s music competition win, the band released its second studio album, “Teatro d’ira,” and only months after that, the rock group competed in and won the Eurovision Song Contest. Featuring some of the world’s best musicians and airing internationally, the Eurovision Song Contest draws in incredible media hype. After winning this year’s competition in the Netherlands, Måneskin began to tap into the North American market.

The band’s notoriety within Canada, the United States and Mexico can largely be attributed to TikTok and other social media campaigns in favor of the Eurovision winner. The international internet community completely lost their marbles for the Italian musicians, especially fangirling over the band’s lead singer.

On TikTok the hashtag #maneskin has collected over 2.4 billion views. Gen Z creators are absolutely obsessed with the young stars that make up the charismatic European band. Maneskin’s song “Beggin’” has been used almost 3 million times on TikTok and countless videos have been made dancing to the band’s music and compiling edits of the group’s performances.

Most recently, Måneskin has been trending for their support of the LGBTQ community. At the Polsat SuperHit Festival in Poland, a country whose LGBTQ community has become increasingly marginalized by its government, same-sex band members David and Raggi kissed live on stage in front of thousands. Right after this act of defiance, David shouted out to the audience present as well as those watching around the world: “Love is never wrong!”

The internet has since gone wild over this moment with countless posts of support on Instagram, Twitter and other social media platforms. Måneskin’s monthly listenership on Spotify has correspondingly climbed to over 28 million.

Now, with numerous concert dates scheduled for the upcoming months and an album planned to drop by the end of the year, Måneskin is at the peak of its game. Gritty and robust, the Italian band’s music challenges its listeners and keeps them coming back for more.

Writer Profile

Lauren Koop

London School of Economics - Peking University
International Affairs

Hello all! My name is Lauren and I am a first year grad student at PKU. My interests include: books, art, culture, world happenings, lifestyle and language. So excited to share my writing with y’all!

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