While spending some time in Transylvania this past weekend I was lucky enough to be in the same town where Romania’s 2012 entry, Mandinga, was playing a show. I was even luckier that the band was willing to chat with me for a few minutes before the show to catch me up on what they have been doing since they represented Romania. I also have to add that Mandinga is great – they are really nice people, they even gave me travel recommendations; plus they’re fun to talk to!

Mandinga represented Romania in 2012 with Zaleilah, an upbeat, Latino number. They finished in 12th place, with 71 points.  You can see a video of their performance below.

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Mandinga has not released a new album since 2012, but they are working on one potentially for next year. They do have some new singles (you can check them out on their website here: http://www.mandinga.ro/en/). Since participating in Eurovision, the band has mostly been touring around Romania, but they told me they recently played in Turkey and they were in Montenegro last month where Loreen (the 2012 winner) was also playing a show. They said that they would be doing a European tour next year, so be on the look out for them!

Mandinga playing at Club Vila Bran in Romania. The band will play there again on September 20th.

I learned a few fun facts from the band members. Mandinga started 12 years ago in Bucharest.  Marius (nicknamed Chupi) – the one who did the awesome moon-walking with the accordion to start the song – had a son! He listed at least five other instruments that he can play, which was pretty impressive!  Also, Mandinga is the first and only band with any Cuban members to participate in Eurovision.

Unfortunately, when I asked them if they thought they would do a repeat Eurovision performance – like Romania’s contestants Paula Selling and OVI this year – they said no, they are probably not going back, although when I said that was too bad, they did add “never say never!”

If you like Zaleilah, I’d recommend checking out Mandinga’s other songs because they’re similarly fun and upbeat!  And if you’re in Romania, check them out, they have great live performances!

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