Måneskin performing in 2021
Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage via Getty Images
Here's The Rundown On Måneskin, The Italian Glam-Pop Heroes Who Just Brought The 54-Year-Old Song "Beggin'" Back Into Vogue
Editor's Note: The 2022 GRAMMYs Awards show, officially known as the 64th GRAMMY Awards, has been rescheduled to Sunday, April 3, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The below article was updated on Tuesday, Jan. 18, to reflect the new show date and location.
After a long minute of trap hi-hats and autotune, are Måneskin (pronounced moan-AH-skin) bringing rock back? Possibly — with a couple of caveats. If your idea of rock's return is pentatonic scales and testosterone, singer Damiano David's studded codpiece alone might send you packing.
Plus, they pull influences not just from the obvious sources, but everywhere — two of David's cardinal influences are Chris Cornell and Steven Tyler. And at first blush, Måneskin might strike you more like a 2000s indie band like Franz Ferdinand or the Bravery than Soundgarden or Aerosmith.
"We're just doing music. If it's considered rock or pop or whatever, it's entirely not important to us," bassist Victoria De Angelis told Loudwire in 2021. "The main thing is I think people should just listen to the music and judge the music without having preconceived notions."
This fearless philosophy has vaulted the group to the big time: Måneskin now join BTS, Jon Batiste, H.E.R., Tayla Parx, Carly Pearce, Gayle King, Nate Bargatze, and special guests to help reveal the nominations for the 2022 GRAMMYs Awards show in the Recording Academy's second annual virtual livestream event, taking place Tuesday, Nov. 23, at 9 a.m. PT/noon ET and available to view on live.grammy.com.
As origin stories go, the Italian band with a Danish name meaning "moonlight" has the most genuine kind — busking on the busy streets of Rome. They hit the national stage in 2017 on the Italian "X Factor," where they performed a handful of covers that were awfully telling.
Naturally, they did Franz Ferdinand's "Take Me Out" and the Killers' "Somebody Told Me" — tunes awfully recognizable to anyone with a finger on the pulse of Y2K-era guitar music. But they also performed something arguably out of time: Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons' "Beggin'," which was released during the Summer of Love.
Måneskin wound up winning second place on "X Factor," but their story was just beginning. "Beggin'" picked up steam on their debut 2017 EP, Chosen, but it really took on meteoric velocity when the group won the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest. Since then, "Beggin'" has become a TikTok sensation, sweeping the charts worldwide.
And as unconventional as that story is — one where a Valli tune is in the heads of countless youngsters — the band's legacy isn't only hitched to that star. For more entryways into Måneskin's universe, check out the snotty "I Wanna Be Your Slave," which they (naturally) redid with Iggy Pop in 2021. To say nothing of the outrageously horny "Mammamia," which they just performed on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon."
So, are the flamboyant, gender-blurring Måneskin the ambassadors of rock in the year of our lord, 2021? Only if you mean the rivulet of rock that flows through 2000s dance-rock all the way back to rock's decidedly unmacho pioneers: Marc Bolan, David Bowie, Little Richard.
As De Angelis said, leave your discriminations at the door — you'll be treated to a hell of a time. Believe it, if for the sole reason that Iggy Pop hasn't led us astray thus far.