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Quick Facts

Elena Ionescu
Alexandru Burcea
Marius Cristian Ciupitu
Valentin Zachar
Omar Secada Dihigo
Alexander Himely Benavides

Not on stage
Antonio Segui Rolando


🇷🇴 Romanian
🇨🇺 Cuban (Omar, Alexander and Antonio)

National Selection
Selecția Națională 2012
Selecția Națională 2005

In Eurovision
2012 Baku

Zaleilah (2012)


Mandinga is a Romanian pop band. They play latin influenced music.

Mandinga burst onto the scene in December 2002, captivating audiences throughout Romania and even earning invitations to showcase their talent in countries like Bulgaria, Germany, Serbia, Poland, and Cuba. With songs in Romanian, Spanish, and English, their music is a melting pot of cultures. Their unique sound draws from Latin and Balkan folklore, seamlessly weaving in influences from diverse styles including salsa, La Guajira, hip-hop, Guajira funk, bolero, cha-cha, reggaeton, R&B, Latin house, calypso, Latin hip-hop, and even acid jazz.

The original members of Mandinga were Alex (trumpet and vocals), Bazooka (timbales and percussion), Florin (bass and vocals), Chup (drums, percussion, and vocals), Omar Secada (keyboard), Ella (vocals), Zach (saxophone), Tony (trombone), Alejandro (vocals), and El Nino (percussion). Enhancing their performances, Mandinga is accompanied by professional dancers Elena and Simona. 

In 2005, Mandinga did their first attempt to reach the Eurovision Song Contest. Their song “Soarele meu” reached a 4th place in the national finals.

In 2006, Elena became the lead singer. In 2007, the group achieved an impressive milestone, performing in around 300 concerts. They’ve made a mark on Romanian media, being regular guests on major TV shows, including the highly popular Danutz Ltd. Mandinga’s distinct style has led them to launch Salsa Fest, their own event brand, and Salsaphoria, their signature dance style. The Mandinga brand resonates with the public, symbolizing good vibes, dance, and the Latin spirit.

In 2012, Mandinga won the national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Zaleilah”. The song thus represented Romania in the contest. Reaching the final, Romania made it to a 12th place in the Grand Final of the contest. “Zaleilah” became an international hit.

The follow up song of “Zaleilah” was called “Papichulo”. In 2013 they released “The Mac Mac Song”, “La Vita É Bella” and “Cinéma”. They teamed up with Ahmed Chawki and Pitbull for the single “Habibi I love you”.

In March 2014 the band teamed up with Fly Project. Their single was called “Hello”. In the same year, the band took part in the show Te Cunosc De Undeva (Your Face Sounds Familiar). On 11 May 2015, a new single was released: “Adrenalina”.

It was in 2016 that Elena left the band. The new lead vocalist of Mandinga was and is Bárbara Isasi. Mandinga gave it’s first concert with the new singer on March 26 of that year. The band teamed up with Erik Ikote to release a single “Aventura” in May 2016. In 2017 the band released a salsa version of the Charlie Puth song “We don’t talk anymore”. In May the song is followed by a brand new single, “Besame”. The group teamed up with Tito Nieves, Jay Lugo and Surbana for the song, “Una noche mas”.

In 2018 the band released the singles “Mayores”, “Arquitectura” and “Soy de Cuba”. Barbara took part in Te Cunosc De Undeva, in some shows accompanied by the other members of the band. Barbara won the contest.

In 2019 the band released the single “Provocador”. Meanwhile, “Soy de Cuba” had over a million views on YouTube. Both videos were recorded in Cuba. The band went to perform at the Sazon Festival in Switzerland. In September they released the single “Niña Sincera”. The band was awarded European Tropical Act Of The Year at the Lukas Awards in London. The band teamed up with Olivia Addams for the song “B.A.N.D.I.D.A.”.



🇷🇴 Romania



Elena Ionescu
Omar Secada Dihigo
Costi Ioniţă

Costi Ioniţă


Results Semi

Points: 120
Position: 3
Running order: 6

Results Finals

Points: 71
Position: 12
Running order: 14