JUST PROCESS Talks Background & Upcoming Releases

Ben Runyan a multi-talented artist from Philadelphia will be releasing a new album in August. Going under the alias JUST PROCESS he has collaborated with some talented female vocalists to give you an electronic album with a dash of pop, rock, and ambient sounds. Previously Runyan was part of the electronic pop group City Rain who gathered acclaim for their music from MTV. He already released the single ‘I already know’ earlier this month which you can listen to below. Runyan took a moment to discuss his album and musical influences with us.


I noticed that you are multi-talented in the music field. Your bio says that you assist with artist development, you’re a songwriter, a teacher, and a producer. Can you tell us how you are involved in each of these fields.

Sure, I started off with electronic production in 2007 and that’s something I became really passionate about. A few years later I started working for Apple and I started teaching a few classes there. I learned from that experience that I really liked teaching and from there I started teaching at a premier electronic production school called Dubspot in New York. I taught Albeton Live there. From there I went on to teach at Drexel and Rowan University. Currently I teach Logic, Albeton, music production history.

The current project, ‘JUST PROCESS’ is me producing other artists under my name but I intend to ultimately develop these artists into their own careers. Im taking my experience as an artist who has toured and had some success and take that lens to develop other artists and use my talents in conjunction with that. Those are the two main areas of focus right now, The JUST PROCESS/Artist Development field and teaching.

You were originally known for the electronic pop group City Rain. Can you tell us about your time as City Rain?

City Rain started off as just me and it had a few revolving members until it settled on as three people. I was a guitarist and drummer but City Rain disbanded or went in indefinite hiatus last year. City Rain is a legacy now unless it comes back but I don’t foresee that right now.

How would you describe Just process’s sound?

Electronic music has always been my love and with City Rain I kinda got into some rock territory. I went a little further into that territory than I intended too. I listened to a ton of electronic music, dance music, house, trance, and techno growing up in the early 2000s. I listened to Tiesto, Armin, Above & Beyond, and BT. Tiesto had these mix CDs back then called ‘In Search of Sunrise’ and thats what really got me into dance music before it hit the American mainstream in 2010.

When I saw electronic music gaining traction in the states I saw that I had all these City Rain songs sitting around that I had written for my voice. I thought what if I change a lot of these parts to electronic and got female singers to sing them what would it sound like? A lot of the influences were pop music music like Calvin Harris and Chainsmokers type stuff. I like writing pop music and I like writing electronic music and I wanted to move away from making Indie music. I wanted to unapologetically make pop music and really polished clean electronic music.

Who are your influences? Non-EDM/EDM?

Most of my initial influences come from dance music so like Tiesto, Armin van Buuren, and Above & Beyond. Then there’s a lot of trap like Dr. Dre, Brian Eno (who produced Coldplay), to the Talking Heads and Joy Division.The common figure between these genres is the synthesizer. For me the synthesizer is something that you can create with anytime for something that comes to mind. So my influences are a blend of new age from the 80s, hip hop from the 90s and early 2000s, and modern trap. I really like music with a clean production.

In the past you’ve had ‘The Optimist’ and ‘Join the Human Race’ as hits. Can we expect to see more of this type of electro pop sound you had earlier or are u headed in more of an ambient/chill house direction?

The City Rain outlet for me was kind of an autobiographical outlet for me. It was almost like me being me. In terms of the JUST PROCESS project I’ve always written chill stuff on the side. I score commercials and write for short films. I’ve had this other side in music that I never released that was super chill stuff. I’ve always wanted to “scratch that itch” but didn’t know the proper outlet for it. But from gaining experience over the years, coaching artists, and learning how that stuff works I really wanted to work with other people. City Rain wasn’t an outlet where I could try out new stuff and it needed to stay in its own path. The JUST PROCESS project allows me to work on music that I have listened to but have not produced before.

You have a new project coming up which is your new album. What inspired this album?

The radio inspired my new album because I thought of the vocalists and the producers behind them. When you think of Disclosure you think about the voices in their music first and then you think about disclosure as two dudes second. They are not necessarily the artists as in the performer but they are the artists in terms of the artistic intention behind the song. I don’t necessarily want to be the performer so the new project has allowed me to write music without the added pressure of performance. It allows me to do what I can do best and allows the performer to do what they do best.

You released ‘I already know’ recently. How was it working with vocalist Joannie Jimenez and your other vocalists?

Yes I released ‘I already know’ on July 7th. Joannie is amazing. She is really young and we are working on developing her brand and image. Kara is in a band called Red Panda and has put out pop/rock music in the past. She is a total pro and phenomenal vocalist. Kara is also a song-writer so she was able to provide feedback on the album. Caitlin is was a jazz vocalist who was classically trained and did the recordings in two takes. It was a really interesting experience to work with them and help them hone their craft.

Why was the album focused on the female voice?

You know, I had been listening to my own voice while working with City Rain. I know after mixing 65 of my own songs what the male voice sounds like. I had never really done much experimentation with the female voice. They have a different timbre and when laid against things like reverb and delay it can have an incredible texture that no instrument can recreate. It was a incredible treat to work with that. It was really cool to observe that the songs were stronger with a female voice than my own voice.

And where and why did you choose to go with ‘JUST PROCESS’ as the alias for this album?

Hahahaha. It’s a rift on a Basketball teams motto. It was originally ‘Just the Process’ but that was too wordy.

Do u have any live performances lined up for the future soon?

Not Particularly. My goal right now is to develop artists and produce. I see myself moving into the business and production side of the industry. I was a performer for years and have vocal training, but its nice to help young artists to develop their own talents.

Can you tease us with anything else that you have planned after your new album release? What do you have planned?

The biggest thing I have planned is the video. I’ve been working on it for the last three months with my good friend Stephen Rutterford. He has a creative branding agency and we are developing some high quality projects to hopefully surpass the ‘The Optimist’ by City Rain in production value. I’m working on the audio/visual element of everything. On the flip side I’ve begun work on another album with Joannie.

What is your dream festival or venue you would like to perform?

I’ve always been a club person. Im not the biggest fan of outdoor shows. I would say a club tour of some kind but a festival like Coachella could work for some of the songs. The songs with Kara could be great at a festival. Joannie’s and Cailtin’s songs would work better in a club. Depends on the artist of the song.