Manėskin Represents the New Age of Rock and Roll

Camryn Chehreh, Entertainment Editor

The most recent Eurovision Song Contest took place in May of last year, where 29 contestants from across the continent came together to compete. For the first time in over two decades, Italy brought home the trophy with an unexpected winner. Italian rock band Manėskin became the first rock band in fifteen years to win the contest with their song Zitti e Buoni. 

Adorned in black eyeliner and glittering costumes, the group follows in the footsteps of famous rock bands of the 20th century, including Queen and Kiss. Manėskin consists of lead singer Damiano David, bassist Victoria De Angelis, guitarist Thomas Raggi, and drummer Ethan Torchio. The band’s name comes from the Danish word for “moonlight”, a nod to De Angelis’ heritage. Frontman David has noted that the band takes inspiration from popular artists such as Arctic Monkeys, Steve Copeland, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Harry Styles. 

Outside of the music, the band as whole challenges gender norms through their use of makeup and clothing. David stated in an interview with influencer Nikki De Jager that he fell in love with makeup as a teen, and finds wearing eyeliner a comfort. He’s often worn dresses, skirts, and heels during performances and on red carpets, and has expressed his love for pink before. De Angelis, the only female member of the group, often goes braless during performances and wears matching suits with her other band members during interviews.

Manėskin’s music videos have included queer representation and sex positivity since the beginning of their time in the spotlight, as some of the group members identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community. Bassist Victoria De Angelis has been open about her bisexuality, while member Torchio describes himself as unlabeled and “sexually free.” Though Raggi identifies as heterosexual and David’s sexuality is unknown, the two have made it a point to stand against homophobic laws in various European countries. In June of 2021, the two shared a kiss on stage in Poland, declaring to the crowd that people “should be able to do this without any fear.” 

Almost a year after the competition, Manėskin has performed all over Europe, parts of Asia, and recently the United States. Making appearances on major American shows such as The Tonight Show and Saturday Night Live, Maneskin is slowly seeping into American mainstream media. TikTok has also helped boost their popularity, trending their cover of Beggin, originally recorded by The Four Seasons, and mash-ups including some of their earlier songs. 

When Manėskin won Eurovision, they were asked if they had anything to say to the world. The band turned to the camera and said, “rock and roll will never die.” Manėskin uses their media to send a message of individuality and acceptance to the world. In an age where rock seems to be a dying genre, this band fights to keep it alive.