Fad or Favoloso? Investigating the Phenomenon of Måneskin

Fad or Favoloso? Investigating the Phenomenon of Måneskin

The UK is no stranger to having their hearts captured by international phenomena’s. With the rise of K and J-Pop, the curiosity of music lovers has been piqued and many have found themselves listening to artists from further afield.

Italy’s home-grown Måneskin are the latest band to gain international recognition after placing first within this year’s Eurovision song contest.  Måneskin awed watchers all around with their own brand of rock. Featuring huge guitar lines, lush, roaring vocals, sultry bass lines, often accompanied by cinematic feats in the form of music videos, Måneskin have found what works for them and have done it with an attitude which is second-to-none.

Are these guys set to be the next ABBA?

Måneskin are Damiano David, Victoria De Angelis, Thomas Raggi and Ethan Torchio.

The quartet, formed in Rome in 2016 and would rise to prominence after their appearance on the eleventh season of the Italian X-Factor. Competing against acts old and young, Måneskin displayed their rock abilities by being one of the first ever rock bands to make it to the final of Simon Cowell’s Italian version of this renowned competition. After placing second, the band went on to win Eurovision 2021 with their track ‘Zitti E Buoni’, which roughly translates to ‘Shut Up And Be Quiet’ – an apt name for such a loud and raucous band.

Their latest single, ‘I Wanna Be Your Slave’, is taken from their second studio album, and features a roar of instrumentation accompanied by repetitive and slicing lyricism – stapling Måneskinas a unique and exciting rock quartet. Besting their Eurovision entry, ‘Zitti E Buoni’, the track made its way into the UK top 40 (a first for an Italian band), and it’s easy to see why. The band have since sold over a million records in Italy and received 23 platinum and gold certificates from FIMI (Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana) and reached the top 10 in the UK singles chart.

Speaking to NME  following their Eurovision triumph, De Angelis discussed the band’s plans to build on that success:

We really want to do our best to keep the attention by writing new music and trying to do some gigs in Europe and beyond. We’re working hard and we just want to play everywhere. We’re just figuring out how to manage everything

Victoria De AngelisMåneskin

But the question is, are they a fad, the next generation of international pop, or one hit wonders set to fizzle out in the stroke of a bass? Let’s find out…

And The Results Are In…

After conducting a short survey on Instagram (with just under 700 responses), one thing is made abundantly clear, people aren’t just here for their undeniable stage presence and talent, but also their good looks. When asking fans what attracted them to Måneskin nearly 33% commented on the ‘sexiness’ of the band, with a handful referring to the members as ‘androgynous bi-icons’. And it isn’t just gender they’re tackling.

On Polish TV Damiano and Raggi shared a same-sex kiss to protest the homophobic laws present in the country during the Polsat Superhit Festival after the LGBTQ community have found themselves under considerable and constant threat over the past few years with the rise of the PiS political party. Being incredibly vocal about their beliefs of equality and gay rights within the LGBTQ+ community, in which bassist Victoria identifies as bisexual, it’s no wonder that fans around are looking towards the band for support:

Damiano David - Måneskin

“We think that everyone should be allowed to do this without any fear” […] “We think that everyone should be comletely free to be whoever the f**k you want. Thank you Poland! Love is never wrong.”

— Damiano David, Måneskin

However, the question remains: are people here for their music or the Tik-Tok sensation’s attractiveness? Are they really the next big thing or are they simply sexy?

If we take a handful of articles written about the Italian-superstars, it’s all-too-clear to see the media’s stance.

The Tab comments on frontman Damiano being a sexier reincarnation of Harry Styles, Daily Nexus has hailed him as being a ‘Sex God”, while their music video for ‘I Wanna Be Your Slave’ has been described as sexy, sensual, and raunchy by several other publications.


There’s even an Italian news site with an article wholly dedicated to worshipping how attractive Victoria is – it’s almost an impossible task to find an article or news piece that doesn’t comment on the band’s good looks.

It’s clear that the band, or at the very least the media, know their strengths and are thoroughly exploiting and exploring them… They know they’re good looking and understand how this can be used this in their favour.

‘super talented and refreshing… the main guy is cool 70’s androgyny realness’

@beetlejuiceex – Instagram Poll

It’s not uncommon for male rockers to display androgyny through the way they dress and the makeup they wear. Think Prince, David Bowie, Marilyn Manson, Robert Smith, the list is endless. Are we here for Maneskin? Or do we just feel inspired by their front man?

‘I love how they go against all stereotypes, and a rock band winning Eurovision is insane’

@georgiawilliams – Instagram Poll

Upon asking if the band are overrated, the response was overwhelmingly in the negative, with a massive 73% responding ‘No’ (475), while a further 50% (321) believed that Måneskin are a fad. Whilst the majority of people seem to believe that the band aren’t overrated, almost half believe they’re just a ‘phase’, thing Gangnam style, Carly Rae Jepsen, Vance Joy, all heavily loved with their one-hit-wonders, but that is majorly where it stops – when did we last hear from them?

Even those who didn’t think Måneskin were particularly for them, still appreciated the talent they possessed and saw the appeal that they have had for people across the globe. It’s clear to see that they’re adored far and wide – even if some do just think they’re a phase. But maybe it won’t be their music that sticks around, but the memory of the band’s insatiable good looks…

‘I think if they stick at it they could be this generations answer to abba’

@lizziebickerstaff – Instagram Poll

But is this a good thing? The majority of my research has found that the main attraction to the band is their aesthetics rather than the music itself. Reading articles about Måneskin feels as if one is digesting London Fashion Week than an in-depth NME-style review.

Are Måneskin truly sonically sound, or is this just yet another case of a teenage crush?

Would Måneskin have gotten such acclaim and fame after their win if they weren’t so pretty? If a group of old men were making the same music – would it have the same appeal? The same response? Or is it purely down to the way they look?

Are Måneskin a sustainable brand or will they phase out when we find another band to crush on? Will it be their music that lives on? Or images?  Will people keep listening after the infatuation has ‘died down’? Only time will tell…

There’s a million and one questions we could ask regarding Måneskin, but one thing is for certain, it’s not entirely about the music. I’d be willing to bet a lot of money that if they didn’t look how, they did, they wouldn’t have become Tik Tok sensations. Yes, people would still listen to their music – but would there still be such a hype surrounding them? There’s no denying that ABBA had the looks, but at the end of the day it’s their music that made an impression.

Will the Italian rockers do the same? I’m not so sure…

Written by Alannah Williams | Illustrated by Georgia Harmey

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