Ahenfo Radio Denmark

Danish Carlina has made her debut single with Beyoncé’s producer

Danish Carlina de Place has written her debut single with producer Rissi, who makes music for Beyoncé and Kanye West.

– I had a feeling in my body that something really good was going to happen. I could tell it was going to be a good day.

This is how the Danish musician Carlina de Place begins her story.

– There was an enormous amount in me that wanted to show – in the most humble way – who I was and what I could do.

Carlina de Place talks about the day she attended a workshop with SheCanPlay on Bornholm. SheCanPlay is a community for young women and gender minorities who want to make a living from making music, where they get sparring and can meet like-minded people.

Three years ago, the then 17-year-old Carlina de Place was admitted to the course, and the first workshop took place on the rocky island.

Spring had sprung and the butterflies were blooming in her stomach – and for good reason. Because there on Bornholm she meets Morten Ristorp.

You may not know Morten Ristorp, but you have certainly heard the music he is behind.

Rissi is his stage name, and he is a producer and songwriter living in Los Angeles, where, among other things, there is a Grammy on his mantelpiece. A Grammy for his collaboration with Beyoncé. In addition to her, there are names like Kanye West and Lukas Graham that Rissi can call collaborators.

Kanye West, Lukas Graham, Beyoncé – and Carlina de Place.

Rissi has arrived at the workshop on Bornholm to talk about his work and inspire the young aspirants, and already at the first meeting Carlina de Place remembers that they just understood each other.

– It was on a deeper level than I have tried before. We just farmed , she explains.

After dinner, Carlina de Place went over to Rissi to talk to him, and already here he had seen how competent she was, and so he invited her over to Los Angeles to work together.

At the time of writing, Carlina de Place has released a single single, ‘Pieces’, which was released at the beginning of March. She made that song together with Rissi in Los Angeles.

‘I was just super ready!’

After the first meeting, a month passed during which Carlina de Place did not hear anything from Rissi. Until one day she had had a “really bad day”, she recalls.

– I had a total crying day, where I probably cried over someone or other who didn’t want to be friends with me, she says and laughs.

In the evening, she suddenly got an email from Rissi’s manager, who asked if she could talk to them.

Rissi had not forgotten Carlina de Place, and he would like to collaborate with her.

– I was just super ready! So I sent them a lot of music I had been working on at home, and half a year later I left for Los Angeles, she says.

The first ride on the plane on the way to Los Angeles was spent with the knitting in hand. She wasn’t nervous, she was more excited, but channeled it all into the knitting needles all the way across the Atlantic.

– I was in a place where I had spent so much time and so much energy figuring out what I wanted, and I was also just really proud of what I could bring to the table, so I wasn’t at all that uncertain, she recalls.

– There has just been an enormously safe environment around the whole thing, and it just felt really good. It may sound crazy, but it was very natural, she says.

There is not a hint of imposter syndrome in the voice. Carlina de Place is purposeful like few others and knows that she can always become more skilled at her craft.

– We knew each other really well at this point, so when I landed, I just couldn’t wait to get to the studio. I just thought, now we just have to get started!.

A vulnerable and intimate space

In Los Angeles, the couple work on several different songs, with Carlina de Place visiting Rissi on several occasions. She has also brought her family to Los Angeles.

One day, Rissi takes the demo for ‘Pieces’ into the studio. A demo he has worked on with musicians and producers such as Joe Kirkland, who has worked with Megan Thee Stallion, Abby Keen, who is RAYE’s little sister, and Prep Bijan, who has worked with Post Malone.

Rissi and Carlina de Place decide that it will be the first single and that it will be the one that Carlina de Place presents to the world as the very first.

– He’s so talented, and we just have so much fun when we’re in the studio together. It is a space where anything can happen. You can’t say anything wrong or do anything wrong. It’s an inspiring space where everything feels natural, so I don’t even think about which big stars have sat there.

– In my eyes, he is a genius. I could spend all day in the studio with him without getting bored, she says.

Together they have created a sound defined by choral arrangements and big melodies, while the lyrics reflect being human.

She calls ‘Pieces’ an intimate song where you can just open the door to a space where vulnerability is allowed – somewhat the same space that Rissi and her create in the studio. ‘Pieces’ is also about love. It’s a pop song about losing someone you love and watching them go while you’re left to pick up the pieces.

– For me, ‘Pieces’ is just a small step in a long marathon, she explains.

Because even though the adventures in Los Angeles are where she is allowed to complete the songs with Rissi, it is still in the home studio at her parents’ home in Copenhagen that the first magic happens.

– I’m just looking forward to more music coming out, to going out to play and live life. For me personally, it is important that everything is done when it feels right. Life is long, and if I’m going to do it forever, I have to take myself with me the whole way

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