JB Ryans is a self-taught artist based out of Las Vegas who focuses on writing raw lyrics that focus on life. He is influenced by countless genres and other artists and allows his listeners to express their emotions to the music. JB Ryans is now set to release 6 singles throughout the year. His latest single "Happy" is an all-around feel-good, moody RnB like tune that features atmospheric enchanting bells and synths, a modern high impact rhythm section that dynamically evolves throughout the song, and a smoothing honest vocal that instantly grabs your attention and has you wanting more.
"Happy" opens up with an interesting moody atmosphere before everything hits you at once and carries through. The chorus is very special here, it surprises you with vocoded vocal harmonies and JB Ryans ever so soft voice. The production of "Happy" is very modern sounding but feels very organic in each element of the song, this compliments the vocal performance in a beautiful way that leaves space for the vocal to breath while also keeping the energy high. From JB. Ryans engaging vocal performance to the dynamic production, this is a record that will make its way onto your moody playlist.
Stream "Happy" here and get to know more about JB Ryans in our interview below.
Welcome to BuzzMusic JB Ryans! We are in love with your latest release "Happy"! What was the songwriting and production process for it like? Did you write out the lyrics before an instrumental was done?
Thank you for the warm welcome! It's an honor to be interviewed by you guys and thank you for the kind words too! To answer the question, yes, I did write the lyrics before the instrumental was done. I actually wrote the song before I even started working on an instrumental. "Happy" was a song I started writing in late 2018 after I was feeling unhappy working the day job I had at the time. It wasn't that it was a bad job, but more so that I felt unfulfilled. So I started to think about "why am I so unhappy right now" which then led me to think about things I haven't thought about in a long time, like the passing of my dad when I was young. From there the song became more about looking at my life as a whole and figuring out, why the feeling of being happy, feeling love and excitement escapes me so often, and what are the key points that have played into my struggle with my mental health. Writing the song was a bit eye-opening because everything kinda poured out in the second verse and it was kinda like "okay, so this is where all this originated from" and through that, I was able to start working on myself and start coping these aspects of my life. Songwriting is like therapy to me and its crazy that while I'm writing these songs more so, to get all these feelings out, others can connect with them too and input their own story into the song. I find that so crazy sometimes.
On the production side, the process was interesting. At the time I had only produced one other song so I was still finding my sound. I remember though, through the creation process, I wanted my sound to be unique to me and not follow just one genre or elements of a certain genre because that wasn't me. I grew up listening to all types of music ranging from pop to metal so a key value of mine when starting to put a song together is to not go into it with any ideas. I love to play around and find sounds that I connect with emotionally first, then build from there adding layer after a layer, and my goal, in the end, is to let the music speak for itself and tell its own story before I even think about adding lyrics to the song. So with "Happy", I made an entirely different version of the song which listening back to it now, a lot of the elements that were used are reused in a different way in the version we hear today. A key element that stuck was the wind. Thinking about it now, I think I related the wind to be a little bit eerie and it added atmosphere to the track which I love. So, I built around that, letting the wind rise and fall in relationship to the chords and melodies. While I'm talking about the production, I want to give a big shoutout to my friend Tripalitbeats who was the Mix and Master Engineer on this project, as well as somewhat of a co-producer too. All these songs start with me, and I do what I can but when I send it over to him, he helps me see things I may have missed or elements that can be highlighted better in production. But the biggest thing he's done is he has brought this song to life in a way that I wouldn't be able to do on my own. He's a beast when it comes to mixing and mastering, and I have to give credit to him for that and helping me bring my sound to life. I'm grateful to have him on my team but also grateful to have him as a friend.
We can definitely hear an almost fusion of other styles within your music, what about your influences inspires you? Are there any songs from theirs that are highlighted?
My three biggest influences in music are Lauv, Khalid, and EDEN and what really inspires me about them, and this is especially the case with EDEN, is while they have a genre they are particularly strong in and known for, they aren't afraid to look into other genres and incorporate elements into their already established sound. To me, it makes the music feel real because you're not getting the same thing every time. You're getting a full representation of what these artists may have been feeling at the time through the instrumental alone and I find that special.
The chorus of "Happy" has these super cool vocoded adlib lines saying "Happy". How did this idea come to life? Was it part of the initial songwriting?
The vocoded adlib lines saying "Happy" is my favorite part of the song and it wasn't something I wasn't planning on doing at all. On my last single, "18", my friend Tripalitbeats, who I mentioned before, added this really cool vocoded bassy layer of my lead vocal into the chorus of the song and fell in love with it. So I asked myself "how can I do this again in this song" and it came about actually while I was tracking vocals at home. I had finished up recording all the vocal layers and was like "I wonder how this would sound" so I added it in and was just like "This is amazing"! Like I said before, a lot of what I do is in the moment and it's me allowing my creativity to run wild until I find something that I can vibe, with which in this case, was the vocoded "Happy" lines. Did I say how much I love this element of the song? haha
It's always great to hear about artists wanting to share experiences through music and have the audience connect with them. Do you have any goals that you are aiming to achieve with this?
Overall, I'm still thinking about what my big picture goal is when it comes to opening up and talking about my mental health story, and mental health as a whole. Right now, my focus is to continue the fight to break the stigma around mental health in any way that I can, give my audience space where they feel safe to talk about their own story, and feel heard when they do so. I also want to help my audience feel like even though they may be struggling at the moment, they see that this moment will not be there forever. I want to show them that they can make it through it and beat depression, overcome losing a loved one, not fall to the overwhelming thoughts that flood their mind at any given moment or anything else they might go through. I use myself as an example a lot because I've gone through and still go through similar battles and I'm still here trying the make the best of it all leading life with a laugh and smile. I know doing this on a grand scale is a hard thing to do but if I can help one person then I've achieved my goal.
What's next for you JB Ryans?
The question of all questions! Right now, I'm working on releasing four more singles this year and then I'm going to get to work on my Debut EP which, if all goes right will be released in 2021. Beyond music, I'm looking at how can I better connect with my audience? What aspects of my life and personality haven't I shown and how can I express these things on Instagram and YouTube. For example, I'm a huge nerd and I love talking about comic book movies and anime. I want to share this more with my audience and find things we both love so we can have conversations and bond over those things. Other than that, I want to make sure I'm keeping the conversation about Mental Health going and look for other ways and opportunities to do so.