Is Måneskin the opportunity Italian rock music needs?

If you’re a magazine writing about Italy right now, there are three things you can’t not cover: police brutality, Italy’s victory at Euro 2020 and the outstanding success of Måneskin .

The Italian rock band is, in fact, the cultural phenomenon of the moment. They show an attractive face of Italy to the world – with Roberto Mancini’s boys. This is exactly what Italy needs right now, when the alternative is the dark face of politics – extreme deterioration, radicalization and confrontation – and the darker shadow of police violence. Against this, Måneskin is a group that represents diversity, telling the story of an Italy finally open and inclusive and supporting the fight against gender stereotypes.

But what shifts attention to Måneskin is not so much the need to restore wounded national pride. Rather, it is objective data and events that tell us that this group is rewriting the history of Italian music. In 2021 alone, Måneskin achieved perhaps more than any other Italian band before. They won the Sanremo Festival. They won Eurovision. They topped the Spotify Global Chart with the song Supplicant, and entered the club of the 20 most listened artists in the world on Spotify. Then they became the first Italian band with two top ten tracks in the UK.

But what are the musical opportunities that their success can bring for the Beautiful country? Will Måneskin’s success make Italian rock better known in the world?

The inferiority complex

Of course, we don’t have the ability to read the future. The world of music and entertainment is changing so fast that we can’t make predictions. However, certain dynamics are already taking shape before our eyes. To this day, Måneskin are pioneers in the history of Italian rock music. No one before them has ever gone this far. So the story remains to be written.

What is at least certain, however, is that, in the words of a musical expert like local singer Morgan, Måneskin succeeded in the arduous task of lifting Italian rock out of its “inferiority complex” compared to the American and British masters. In a way, Måneskin’s success speaks loudly: “we exist, Italian rock is more alive than ever and Italian music is not just good singing and opera”. Manuel Agnelli, one of the Roman band’s biggest supporters and mentor, agrees — as he spoke of a new world opening up for Italy and its music.

This new universe remains to be created, given that in the last 10 years no particular group or defined sound current has imposed itself on the Italian music scene.

So the possibility is that many Italian bands are starting to have idols among their compatriots, role models to aspire to – someone to encourage them to lift their heads and believe in rock music, for real. At the same time, many young boys and girls may well start thinking that playing an instrument could be a vehicle for success. Many girls and young women might think that playing the bass guitar could make them cool, even for women, just like Victoria de Måneskin. The importance of having idols is something we don’t appreciate right now, but it’s fundamental.

Måneskin and “pure” rock

On the other hand, Måneskin’s detractors are not lacking. Many people are willing to suggest that they are simply a passing meteorite, rather than a point of reference for Italian rock music.

Among them are certainly the lovers of “pure” rock who accuse the Roman group of not presenting all these typical elements of 70s rock, especially in terms of social and cultural revolution. At the base of this criticism, there is the idea that Måneskin does not represent this kind of revolutionary music which can shock because aggressive and cathartic.

Let’s say that many people think that even if their sounds are definitely rock, their language is too pop and mainstream. As a result, it is said, they cannot impose themselves as the pioneers of the success of true Italian rock.

Recently, Chris Deville openly criticized the group and tried to put them down, calling them “a darkly glamorous and transcendentally trashy hard rock quartet”. And of course, if this tendency to depreciate Måneskin’s music and art were to take hold, it could be detrimental to the whole Italian rock movement. The prospect is that Italian rock will return to the slum from which it emerged, with little credibility and its inability to distinguish itself in the international context.h

Måneskin’s successes and the support they have received from the many major players in Italian rock make us believe in this opportunity to give Italian music a new global audience. Måneskin is a train of success and visibility, which many in Italy could follow. But such trains never pass twice.

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Italics Magazine was born from the idea of ​​two friends who thought that Italy lacked a complete, in-depth and transversal source of information in English. While some publications do a great job, writing about the latest news or focusing on specific areas of interest, we believe that other types of quality information are just as necessary to better understand the complexity of a country which, very often, is only known abroad for the headlines our politicians make, or for the classic tourist clichés. This is why Italics Magazine is quickly becoming a reference for foreign readers, professionals, expatriates and the press interested in covering Italian issues in depth, drawing on various schools of thought. However, we started from scratch and are self-funding the project through (not too intrusive) advertisements, promotions and donations, as we have decided not to opt for a paywall. This means that, even if the effort is greater, we can certainly boast of our independent and free editorial line. This is possible in particular thanks to our readers, whom we hope to continue to inspire with our articles. That’s why we kindly ask you to consider making your important contribution, which will help us to grow this project — and in the right direction. Thank you.