Baby Lasagna: Eurovision already has a favorite

Baby Lasagna: Eurovision already has a favorite

The favorite to win the Eurovision Song Contest? It's a guy called Baby Lasagna. The stage name can be deceiving: he is not Italian, even if the nickname came to mind during a walk in Novigrad, a city in Croatia located a few kilometers from Trieste. By the way: he never revealed the meaning of his stage name, which It has relatively nothing to do with lasagna: it is an English expression used to indicate the flaccid and wrinkled skin on the belly of a woman who has just given birth to a baby (it is defined in this way because – explains Urban Dictionary – “it looks like you are looking at a slice of lasagna from the side” ).

It would all be surreal enough. But even more so is the story of Marko Purišić, this is the singer's real name, born in 1995, and the meaning of his song: “.Rim Tim Tagi Dim” – spoiler: it's not a magic formula – allowed the artist to surprisingly win Dora 2024 in February, the national competition with which Croatia chooses its representative for the Eurovision Song Contest. The song, between pop punk, techno, metal, house and so on and so forth, he immediately drove Eurovisioners crazy, as the fans of Eurovision are called, which this year will take place from 7 to 11 May in Malmö, Sweden: he is currently first in the provisional ranking which brings together the quotes of the main betting agencies, ahead of the Ukrainians Al'ona Al'oma & Jerry Heil with their “Teresa & Maria” and “our” Angelina Mango with “La noia”.

The absurd name of the title is that of a imaginary folk dance from the home village of the man who is the protagonist of the song, who leaves the countryside to move to the city: on stage together with the two dancers who will accompany him at the Malmö Arena he will give great satisfaction to the fans of that gigantic kitsch bandwagon that is Eurovision. But beneath the tune and the ballet there is more. Yes, because Baby Lasagna explained the song talks about the brain drain of young Croatianswho left their country to seek opportunities elsewhere in the European Union.

According to the Croatian National Statistics Office, in 2022 over 32 thousand Croatian citizens left the country, the majority of whom chose Germany as their destination. According to the latest census in Zagreb, the country has lost as much as 10% of its population in the space of just ten years (these are mostly young citizens, often with a quality education, who are unable to enter the labor market Croatian work). If it is true that Eurovision is much more than a simple singing competition, but a litmus test that represents a unique opportunity to understand Europe, its roots, its tensions, its problems, there is bet that Baby Lasagna with “Rim Tim Tagi Dim” will not go unnoticed: in the meantime the song is popular on TikTok thanks to a .trend in which the Croatian deputies of the European Parliament Valter Flego, Biljana Borzan and Predrag Matić also took part.

And to think that Marko Purišić was admitted to Dora 2024 as a reserve: he took the place of Croatian pop star Zsa Zsa, real name Jelena Žindarić, who withdrew from the competition. “I had 200 views on YouTube at the time. The fact that they still took me into consideration is truly fascinating. I don't know what's happening“, smiles he, who already in 2019 came close to obtaining the pass to represent Croatia at Eurovision, when he played in the band Manntra (they placed fourth in the national competition).

Baby Lasagna has international collaborations such as the one with the German gothic rock band Mono Inc., for which he co-wrote several songs on the album “Ravenblack”, which went to number one in the national charts. Before “Rim Tim Tagi Dim” he had released the singles “IG Boi” and “Do n't hate yourself, but do n't love yourself too much”: “I just want to have fun with music,” he says. Italy returns to his speeches, beyond the name. He cites la as his favorite meal Pizza margherita and among his heroes at Eurovision he puts i Maneskin: “They have a lot of catchy songs.”