Marco Mengoni was born on 25 December 1988 in Ronciglione, a comune in the province of Viterbo, in central Italy, where he also spent his childhood. He is the only child of Nadia Ferrari and Maurizio Mengoni. At the age of fourteen, while studying industrial design at secondary school, he started to take singing lessons.Mengoni later started to perform as a member of a five-piece vocal group.
After leaving school, he moved to Rome, where he enrolled on a degree in Languages.During his studies, he occasionally worked as a barman and he performed in piano bars and during weddings.During the same years, he had his first experience in the recorded music business, working as a sound mixer and as a music programmer.
He represented Italy in the 2nd Edition of the Love Wave Contest with his song "Onde".