The Rise of Måneskin: From Rome to The Grammys (2024)

Since their Eurovision 2021 win, Måneskin’s been on a steady rise in the international eye. So who are they, and how did they get here?

The crowd is silent.

Their only view of the stage is two closed doors. Then the camera begins moving, and the doors swing wide open to reveal four figures clad in red leather as the beginning notes of Zitti e buoni, or Shut up and behave, begins playing. Each band member moves to the beat of the song like it is some supernatural force, focusing on their instrument as the singer takes a deep breath.

This is Eurovision 2021, and these are the winners.

Years before they even stepped on that stage, Måneskin (pronounced moan-eh-skin), started as a scraggly band composed of teenagers on the streets of Rome, Italy. Today they are known for their catchy glam-rock style and eye-catching fashion, and they have catapulted into international stardom after their cover of Beggin’ went viral and their victory at one of the largest annual music competitions in the world, Eurovision.

The band began when three of the four members – singer Damiano David, bassist Victoria De Angelis, and guitarist Thomas Raggi – met in high school in 2015. The three then sent out a request for additional members on Facebook on a post aptly titled “Musicians Wanted (Rome).”

From the outskirts of the city, drummer Ethan Torchio responded.

The band’s name, the Danish word for “moonlight,” was originally suggested by De Angelis, inspired by her Danish mother. It stuck, and from then on they busked on the city streets and applied to the few music competitions of Rome as Måneskin. In one of their many Youtube videos, they covered the song Raggamuffin by Selah Sue, with an acoustic guitar, a bass, a plastic box, and David’s voice. Later, Raggi would reflect on this time to The Guardian, stating, “We played as if we were in front of 10,000 people.” Despite their lack of resources, they exuded a stage presence that made it clear that this band was something to be watched.

And watched they were. By 2017, the band was thriving. They applied to X-Factor Italia, auditioning with their song Chosen in all of their crowd-surfing, head-banging glory. They were accepted and competed on the show while much of Italy watched, enraptured. Years later, in an interview with the New York Times, De Angelis credited the show as the catalyst for their bold fashion sense. “That’s when we started being more daring, with latex, more revealing, even if we had very bad taste at the time,” said De Angelis. “Being conservative has always [peeved] us off quite a lot. So it was a message saying, ‘OK, this is who we are, and we don’t care if you’re going to criticize.’”

Although the band came in second place, a flame had been ignited – one that only grew as they released their first extended play Chosen, on December 8th, 2017. Thousands in Italy listened to this young band, slowly but surely falling in love. Though Måneskin grew widely popular in Italy amongst the younger generation after their X-Factor Performance, the band was relatively unknown overseas. That didn’t deter them from developing, both musically and aesthetically.

Their performance during X-Factor also drew the attention of Victoria Etro, the luxury fashion brand Etro’s head of women’s creative design. She fell in love with the band’s unique energy on the show, and soon the brand approached Måneskin with a proposal for a collaboration. The band accepted around the same time they released their debut album, Il ballo della vita.

Il ballo della vita, or The dance of life, brought the band’s versatility to the centerpiece through poetic ballads like Torna a casa (Come back home) and placed them in sharp contrast with their pop-rock pieces like Immortale. But what set the album apart was the overarching narrative that connected all of the seemingly separate songs together. In an Italian 2018 interview with Rolling Stone, singer Damiano David said, “The central figure of the album is Marlena, a woman who represents beauty and the message we want to communicate: a message of freedom of choices, of attitude, of style to which we have tried to give a face, a name and a voice. Marlena is freedom, passion, everything we want to show.”

The music videos for Il ballo della vita have the band in vivid pieces and imagery that brought their vision to the screen – like in their most viewed music video, Torna a casa, with over 170 million views. Torna a casa brimmed with elegant neutral tones, paralleling the ballad that was so different from the usual rock scene. The song quickly became the standout piece of Il ballo della vita in Italy, as it dominated Italian music charts quickly after the album’s release.

As time went on, Måneskin only grew bigger in Italy. The members entered their late teenage years, then their 20s, and though they had become hometown celebrities, they were yet to attain widespread popularity and recognition in the rest of Europe and the global music sphere.

All that changed in 2021.

The Sanremo Music Festival is considered the most famous Italian music festival, with people all over Europe tuning in to the contest. On March 2nd, 2021, the music festival began, with Måneskin competing and quickly becoming one of the favorites. The day after, the band released the single Zitti e buoni to tease their sophom*ore album, Teatro d’ira – Vol I. The album, which translated to Theater of rage, promised hard hitting rock that Zitti e buoni delivered. Indeed, when Måneskin performed an orchestral version of the piece for the Sanremo finale on March 7th, the judges and much of Europe were blown away.

And Måneskin won.

It was no surprise, then, that shortly after the win the band announced that they were going to represent Italy in Eurovision 2021, as some of the youngest contestants at just 20-22 years old. This was no small feat – Eurovision is essentially a musical battle amongst Europe and only allows one musician or band to represent each country. The 2021 Eurovision would be the first since COVID-19 devastated much of Europe, and hundreds of millions would tune in for an escape. Not to mention – the last time that Italy had won had been thirty-one years before.

If Måneskin were to pull off a win, they would need more than the charm and talent that had gotten them this far. They would need something revolutionary.

They delivered.

In form-fitted red leather created by Etro and magnetic camera blocking, Måneskin performed Zitti e buoni, playing to their strengths successfully. What made them stand out in Eurovision was how each member was highlighted in the performance, unique in a music industry that tended to focus on the main singer. That is not to discount their song – Shut up and behave was, simply put, a song of anger and rebirth. For a Europe still reeling from the aftershocks of the height of the pandemic, it was cathartic.

Three hours later, after a tense few minutes of counting the votes, the band huddled together, mouths slightly agape as they stood by Switzerland. It had been years since they had busked on the streets of Rome – years since they had met as young teenagers. They were not the musicians they once were.

And as they triumphantly leaped from their seats as the winners of Eurovision 2021, joining alum such as ABBA, it was clear that those years of being relatively unknown were well behind them. Måneskin had made history as the first Eurovision winners to be born in the 21st century. Near the stage, a crying Italian journalist stated, “After all that happened with Corona, we had such a bad year with all the deaths in Bergamo. This is a new beginning.”

The next couple of months saw Måneskin skyrocket in both fame and exposure. Zitti e buoni surpassed 200 million streams soon after their win, and they announced a fashion partnership with Gucci, sporting feathers and glitter. On the partnership, De Angelis said, “We really had the chance to come out with a lot of ideas, with all our references and bands we love. We wanted to speak up and blend all these lines of what’s considered feminine or masculine, gender norms and stereotypes on the body, especially the woman’s body being so much more sexualized.” Gucci gave the band freedom to explore their famous androgynous fashion, leading to comparisons to other glam rock legends like David Bowie.

Back in 2017, when they released seven songs with Chosen, they had included a cover named Beggin’. Originally released in 1967 by the American band The Four Seasons, Beggin’ had mostly faded out of much of the public’s memory, and at the time of its release, the cover remained largely stagnant in terms of listens. Then, TikTok got ahold of their cover, which was relatively unheard of at the time, and it went viral in the United States. David’s raspy drawl on the vintage song made it exceedingly popular, with it overtaking Zitti e buoni as their most streamed song. Currently, the cover has accumulated nearly 1.5 billion streams on Spotify, surpassing the original and being the first cover by a Eurovision artist to do so.

The band went on interviews with everyone from Vogue to Vanity Fair’s iconic Same Interview, 1 Year Later saga. Måneskin covered Elvis’ If I Can Dream for his 2022 biopic, and attended the premiere in Gucci once more. They ended up performing once again in Eurovision 2022 with their song SUPERMODEL, and though they didn’t win, it was considered one of the highlights of the night. Awards followed, with them winning the awards for Best Alternative in the 2022 VMAs for their song I Wanna Be Your Slave.

It was as if the world was waking up to this new rock band and all that they promised. In an interview with The Guardian, De Angelis said, “Our lives have completely changed [since Eurovision]. We haven’t stopped. We’ve been having a lot of crazy experiences … all the things we dreamed of that we never thought would come true.”

Their third studio album, RUSH!, was released in January 2023 with a faux wedding. The four “got married,” officiated by none other than a former creative designer of Gucci, with white clothes, blood-red bouquets, and vows citing “the name of Apollo, Elvis and Jimmy Page” to tie it all together. It was creative and entirely bonkers – the perfect way to celebrate their equally unique album. RUSH!, their first largely English album, featured catchy riffs and sharp lyrics that called out the music industry and explored themes like love, fame, and grief. Their RUSH! World Tour began on September 3rd, 2023, following their tour of Europe, and when Måneskin performed in a sold-out Madison Square Garden, many Bronx Science students were there to witness it.

When asked about her favorite moment of the concert, Angelica Mal ’25 recalled, “When Damiano David expressed his frustration with an article calling Måneskin the last rock band. He then said, ‘We are not the last rock band, but we can be the first rap band.’ The band then started rapping a cover of Humble by Kendrick Lamar. It was really funny and they honestly did a good job rapping it.” Daniella Ginsberg ’24 added, “My favorite moment was seeing all of them crowd surf – it was so bizarre and fun.”

Near the same time, Måneskin attended the 2023 VMAs on September 12th, 2023, and won Best Rock for their song THE LONELIEST. They later performed during the ceremony amongst the largest stars of the generation, with even Taylor Swift blowing David a kiss during their performance.

The New York Times has called them “almost certainly the biggest Italian rock band of all time.” They are known, now, by millions – all before any of them reach 25. They have been avid political advocates, denouncing the war in Ukraine and promoting LGBTQ rights; as they see it, their fame goes hand in hand with calling for causes they believe in. As De Angelis put it in an article by Big Issue, “We’re about freedom. So we would really just like to live in a more respectful world, where everyone can be safe and allowed to be who they are, without having to deal with any racism, hom*ophobia, misogyny, or violence of any kind. We want to spread the message of believing in yourself and finding the courage to be who you are.”

So, what’s next?

It has been almost a decade since the band met as young teenagers. Though Eurovision is still fresh in many people’s minds, it is clear that the band is forging their own unique path forward, defying expectations in an industry where they are largely an outlier.

Whatever comes next, one thing is clear: Måneskin has just begun.

As De Angelis put it in an article by Big Issue, “We’re about freedom. So we would really just like to live in a more respectful world, where everyone can be safe and allowed to be who they are, without having to deal with any racism, hom*ophobia, misogyny, or violence of any kind. We want to spread the message of believing in yourself and finding the courage to be who you are.”

The Rise of Måneskin: From Rome to The Grammys (2024)


What does Måneskin mean in Italian? ›

Måneskin is a Danish word that means "moonlight". The band's bassist, De Angelis, is half Danish and suggested the word for the band's name in 2016. The Italian translation of "moonlight" is chiaro di luna, which is certainly less catchy as a band name!

How did Måneskin get so big? ›

Performing in the streets in their early days, Måneskin rose to prominence after coming in second in the eleventh season of the Italian version of X Factor in 2017. Their international breakthrough occurred when the foursome won the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 for Italy with the song "Zitti e buoni".

Why is Måneskin so popular? ›

Today they are known for their catchy glam-rock style and eye-catching fashion, and they have catapulted into international stardom after their cover of Beggin' went viral and their victory at one of the largest annual music competitions in the world, Eurovision.

Is Måneskin splitting up? ›

🇮🇹 Måneskin will be taking a break as band in 2024, the members of the band will start to focus on their solo projects.

Did Måneskin marry each other? ›

All of that sparked speculation the band members may have really tied the knot, but it appears no legal “I do's” were involved in the ceremony. According to the band's publicist, Spotify threw Måneskin the “wedding” at Palazzo Brancaccio in Rome, Italy, to celebrate the new album.

Is Måneskin dating? ›

Dove Cameron has found a "Boyfriend" in Måneskin's Damiano David. The Disney alum and the rock singer first stirred up romance rumors in September 2023 before confirming their relationship with a makeout session at the Pre-Grammy Gala red carpet in February 2024.

Why did Måneskin cut his hair? ›

Damiano, who over the years has made his wild look a sexy icon , hasn't said goodbye to his thick hair for an unmotivated madness. The choice is nothing more than a promotional gimmick to announce the release of the band's new single , scheduled for January 13th.

Is Måneskin a boy or girl? ›

Måneskin are gender-fluid natives — at least two band members are openly bisexual or, as Torchio puts it, “sexually free.” They maintain a sense of humor about themselves and their image.

Is Måneskin a one hit wonder? ›

I', which was a tour de force of sludgy, punky alternative rock that showcased a real creative streak present in this young band. Maneskin weren't just a covers band, nor were they a one-hit wonder; they had some real powerful and inventive songs in their catalogue, and what seemed to be a limitless future.

What kind of people listen to Måneskin? ›

As a Gen Z band catapulted to superstardom by a largely Gen Z audience, Måneskin have given young rock fans the chance to show themselves. “If you think of the good bands that are coming out now, it's usually very niche, and it's often people older than us,” De Angelis continues.

Does Måneskin speak English? ›

Victoria and Damiano speak English very proficiently; Victoria is near fluent, I'd say.

What does the girl do in Måneskin? ›

Victoria De Angelis
Occupation(s)Musician songwriter DJ
InstrumentsBass guitar
Years active2016–present
Member ofMåneskin
2 more rows

Who is Måneskin's girlfriend? ›

New couple Dove Cameron and Damiano David, the lead singer of Maneskin, sealed their red carpet debut with a kiss at Clive Davis' Pre-GRAMMY Gala & GRAMMY Salute to Industry Icons on Saturday night.

Who is Måneskin inspired by? ›

Måneskin Radio

“It's a new side for our new audience, but we've always been playing ballads," bassist Victoria de Angelis added. "That's always been a big part of our music, so with this one we tried to experiment a bit more with the sound. We listened to a lot of Radiohead where they work a lot with pedals.”

Is Måneskin going on tour in 2024? ›

Want to see Måneskin in concert? Find information on all of Måneskin's upcoming concerts, tour dates and ticket information for 2024-2025. Måneskin is not due to play near your location currently - but they are scheduled to play 9 concerts across 7 countries in 2024-2025.

Why is it called Måneskin? ›

Måneskin officially formed in 2015, when David, Raggi and De Angelis were all teenagers in Rome's middle-class Monteverde Vecchio quarter. The band's name, pronounced “MON-eh-skin,” is Danish for “moonlight.” (De Angelis' mother is Danish; the band asked her for some interesting words, and they liked that one.)

What language does Måneskin sing? ›

MÅNESKIN: (Singing in Italian). SHAPIRO: It's only been a couple years since the Italian band Måneskin won, and so far, their star keeps rising. MÅNESKIN: (Singing in Italian). SHAPIRO: Their cover of the Four Seasons track "Beggin'" hit number one on the Spotify global charts.

Who is the girlfriend of the lead singer of Måneskin? ›

Dove Cameron's love story with her boyfriend, Damiano David of Italian rock band Måneskin, began in fall 2023. The couple sparked dating rumors after they were seen getting close at a party. Cameron had also been spotted at one of Måneskin's New York City concerts in September, per People.


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