Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto franchise has consistently boasted some of gaming’s best soundtracks, and the developers’ latest entry is shaping up to be its best one yet. In a behind the scenes post by Rolling Stone, Rockstar reveals what to expect when Grand Theft Auto V is released on Sept. 17, including radio stations, celebrity DJs and some of the artists you’ll be hearing while driving around the fictional city of Los Santos.
In all, GTA V will have 15 radio stations, two talk radio stations, 240 licensed songs and 20 movies worth of original score, according to Rockstar’s soundtrack supervisor, Ivan Pavlovich. “It’s the largest soundtrack that we’ve done, and the largest score that we’ve done.” According to Pavlovich, the company spent a lot of time trying to capture the personality of Los Angeles and California; the way the game looks is certainly important, but the music aspect helps tie it all together. For that reason, GTA V features a pop station for the first time; “Exploring that made so much sense in the context of L.A.,” Pavlovich said.
Among the celebrity DJs, Rockstar enlisted folks like Wavves’ Nate Williams, DJ Pooh (of Friday fame), Pam Grier and Kenny Loggins to keep players entertained. Each has their own unique personality, which then plays off by what’s being blared through your speakers; if you’ve played any previous GTA games, you know what the radio station experience is like. In that way, it’s what puts GTA’s musical prowess above the rest.
As far as original music, Pavlovich said GTA V’s score is completely dynamic, and responds to “what you’re doing with your character.” Rockstar worked closely with Tangerine Dream and Edgar Froese, and Woody Jackson, who contributed to the Red Dead Redemption and L.A. Noire soundtracks. Additionally, Alchemist and Oh No were tapped to help out; each artist provided elements to help define the characters on screen, as well as environment.
It’s really no surprise GTA V will boast such a stacked soundtrack—we already knew as much given a recent leak. But it’s cool to hear from Rockstar’s perspective the kind of work that goes into the music in such an anticipated game. For samples and even more information on the game’s soundtrack, you can head over to Rolling Stone to get Pavlovich’s take.