Maneskin have spoken to Music Week about their incredible streaming numbers - and the debt they owe to the UK.
The Columbia UK/Sony Music Italy-signed rockers have gone global since coming out on top at May's Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam with Zitti E Buoni (142,047 sales, OCC). Peaking at No.17, the track became the first Italian language song to reach the UK Top 20 since Miserere by Zucchero with Luciano Pavarotti reached No.15 in 1992.
The Rome four-piece, who were endorsed by Mick Jagger after supporting the Rolling Stones on their recent US tour, went on to crack the UK Top 10 with the singles I Wanna Be Your Slave (547,683 sales) and their cover of The Four Seasons classic Beggin’ (479,227 sales).
TikTok has revealed that Beggin' was the second biggest song of 2021 for global video creations.
“What was happening years ago in Italy is now happening in every other country in Europe and that's so cool,” said bassist Victoria De Angelis, speaking in the latest issue of Music Week.
“We're getting the chance to travel a lot and meet fans all over the world, it’s insane! We're just trying to go on as we did before and not to think about this huge success and maybe the pressure it can bring if you think about too much.”
Our generation feels like it's something new. They'd never heard this kind of music
Damiano David, Maneskin
In contrast to the litany of rock acts that have struggled to make an impact on streaming services, Maneskin have more than three billion streams to their name. Their monthly Spotify listenership currently stands at almost 30 million.
I Wanna Be Your Slave has been streamed more than 482m times on the platform and Zitti E Buoni is hovering at around 255m plays, while latest single Mammamia has surpassed the 30m mark. TikTok sensation Beggin', meanwhile, has amassed an astounding 794m streams.
The group's 22-year-old frontman Damiano David put forward his own theory for why the band have managed to buck the trend so dramatically on DSPs.
“Our generation feels like it's something new," he said. "They’d never heard this kind of music, plus, the oldest generation feel nostalgic when they see us. We remind them of their teenage days and it's always beautiful to remember your teenage days, so I think that's the magic potion.”
Their cover of the classic Beggin' - first popularised by the Four Seasons in the 1960s - was TikTok's No.1 sound of the summer. The track has garnered over 10.5m creations to date and 4.8 billion views on the #Maneskin hashtag. The group have 5.3m fans and 36m likes on the platform, along with 5.6m followers on Instagram.
“Social media, in general, can be a really important part in the process nowadays,” observed David, who revealed the rockers have already started work on their next album.
“I think TikTok is the most powerful for music at the moment because a lot of songs from the past are becoming viral," he continued. "To give an example, Fleetwood Mac are one of the most viral groups on TikTok, but our generation didn't know them before. I think it's cool and it's very democratic because you can choose what you're actually going to hear and to share.”
When we need to write a record, we try different techniques
Victoria De Angelis, Maneskin
Maneskin - David, De Angelis, guitarist Thomas Raggi and drummer Ethan Torchio - rose to prominence after finishing second in the 2017 series of X Factor Italia and qualified to represent Italy at Eurovision after winning the country’s Sanremo Music Festival. The group's sole upcoming UK date at O2 Academy Brixton on February 6, 2022 sold out in just 25 minutes.
Olly Rice, head of marketing, Columbia Records UK, said: “Within the last six months, Maneskin have established themselves as one of the biggest breakout acts of the year, both internationally and here in the UK. The support from partners here has been incredible considering they were relatively unknown at the start of 2021, and two simultaneous Top 10 singles to date is testament to that. Next year will allow us to further cement their UK following and support with more music and time in market around their sold-out Brixton show in February.”
The UK has become a home from home for the quartet, who played a surprise show at O2 Academy Islington in October. A number of songs from their 2021 second album Teatro D’Ira Vol 1 (22,283 sales) were written while the band were based in London from late 2019 to the spring of 2020.
"We've got a couple of friends there,” explained De Angelis. “We went there for a couple of months and we liked it, so we decided to stay for a bit. When we need to write a record, we try different techniques. Sometimes we do it just from our home and other times we go into a studio or to another town. It was very cool.”
“It was really useful for us because we were in need of some inspiration,” noted David. “Every night, we were going to see three different bands play. We saw a lot of new music and a lot of new bands that inspired us a lot."
Check out the new issue of Music Week for the full interview with Maneskin. Subscribers can read it here.