‘Beggin’ by Måneskin follows the recent trend in pop music for hyper-exaggerated vocals. The viral single does, however, have one very striking point of difference. It is surprisingly rock-inspired. Vocalist Damiano‘s soulful delivery infuses the song with the husky over-the-top character of ’60s acts such as Barry Maguire, Joe Cocker, and The Box Tops.
Måneskin is a boy band from Italy
While these velvet-clad Italian dandies would be considered too prefabricated to be taken seriously during the heyday of y2k indie rock, times have changed. In 2021 K-Pop acts such as BTS dominate the pop charts. In the altered reality of 2021, an element of fake is laudable.
Is it too surprising then that Italy, a nation whose greatest artists turn gaudy into an art form, has produced its own response to the manufactured pop band phenomenon? From Gucci to Raphael, Italian creators are unparalleled in their overstatement. Måneskin is, likewise, suitably melodramatic.
Måneskin vocalist Damiano
Can Måneskin be taken seriously?
Måneskin may be a flash in the pan. But my goodness, it has been a long time since a rock single has been this much fun. Besides the aging Foo Fighters, Arctic Monkey’s AM, Miley Cyrus pastiche covers, and the much-maligned (yet widely listened to) Greta Van Fleet few new acts have done anything vital or interesting in the rock space for some time. In 2021, Damiano’s powerhouse vocals have shaken the musical style from a lengthy slumber.
Måneskin performing outside of Rome’s Colosseum
How Beggin’ became a viral hit
Along with this vocal tour de force, what also makes ‘Beggin’ exceptional is that it is the first original rock-inspired track to top the TikTok charts. It has appeared in over two million TikTok videos. Adding to this often-fleeting honor, the single is also currently the third most-streamed song on Spotify. And, as a true testament to music fans’ appreciation, the most Shazamm’d song in the world.
Who are Måneskin then? Like ‘Dance Monkey’ singer Tones and I, the four began their career as buskers in Rome. The aptly titled ‘Beggin’ is far from Måneskin’s only hit. They have produced a number of platinum-selling status selling singles in Italy. A key source of this early fame was a series of breakthrough performances on a regional version of X-Factor in 2017.
The group’s second Italian language album Teatro d’ira: Vol.I arrived in March this year. Accompanying the four’s success as winners of 2021’s Eurovision Song Contest the record showed a more serious and ambitious side to the group. (Alongside a large helping of ’70s spaghetti rock camp). What sets ‘Beggin’ apart is its international recognition.
Challenging gender norms, bandmember Victoria De Angelis was one of the first openly bisexual artists to appear on Eurovision
Beggin’ is a Four Seasons cover
Far from a new song, the single was released as a single from the group’s Chosen EP in 2017. ‘Beggin’ was a cover of the doo-wop hitmakers The Four Seasons. It is a fitting example of TiKToK’s power to revive old singles from any period in pop history and make them go off like an atomic bomb. It is almost paradoxical how the culture-driving video-sharing app can use old hits to boost artists’ notoriety. Nevertheless, for the past year, it has been doing exactly that.
The new, New Romantics? Måneskin pose for a publicity photo in Gucci outfits
Final thoughts on Måneskin
Listen to this attention-snatching single once and it is easy to see why it has captured the attention of millions. Whether it has only temporarily inflated by the afterglow of the group’s Eurovision publicity is debatable. Yes, Måneskin may just as easily be another cheesy European pop act.
Such fame is also an enormous opportunity to launch a more ambitious recording career. After all, even The Beatles began as a cute boy band, pre-packaged in suits by a svengali-like manager, before delivering their era-defining albums such as Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. (You have to pay your dues before you can spend 700 hours in the studio making a masterpiece.) Without One Direction there would be no Harry Styles.
Måneskin’s novelty makes them an attractive proposition. Whether they have a lasting impact remains contingent on the future directions of the group’s recordings. The kind of success Eurvosion affords does not exactly have a spotless track record for launching long-lasting international careers. That being said, it also gave us ABBA.
Can they last?
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