When Grand Theft Auto V dropped last year, it was a big deal across all realms of the entertainment industry. Aside from turning heads breaking a number of sales records — like being the fastest entertainment property to gross $1 billion, which it did in 24 hours — it also featured a massive 241-song soundtrack with 15 in-game music radio stations hosted by Flying Lotus, Wavves, Twin Shadow and others.
Now GTA V is getting a relaunch Tuesday with an enhanced version for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and the creators have added another 162 songs to the soundtrack, including new mixes from Flying Lotus and Gilles Peterson on their own radio stations. In celebration, developers Rockstar Games is releasing limited edition three-CD and six-vinyl record collections of the game’s soundtrack via Mass Appeal Records on Dec. 9.
“The way that people interact with music in the game and the way they experience the music, they connect with music in a different way than they would by just listening to the radio,” Rockstar Games’ music supervisor Ivan Pavlovich said. “They connect with it on a real level while they’re playing the game and it means a lot more to them. I think the songs stick in people’s heads a lot more. when they’re playing the game and especially with all the original music we put into the game.”
Among the soundtrack’s new adds is a previously unreleased song by Jamie Lidell called “Runaway,” which Pavlovich describes as Lidell “doing kind of trap music, if you will. It’s a very interesting song but it’s incredible.”
Listen to it here:
Rockstar’s relationship with the English soul singer began with 2010’s Red Dead Redemption where they stripped one of his songs down to an acoustic version as one of that game’s only vocal songs. Pavlovich said Lidell “was extremely proud and happy to participate in that game and the outcome of it.” So when they started working on GTA V, they reached out for an original song and Lidell was happy to contribute.
The track wound up on Peterson’s WorldWide FM radio station that leans towards chillwave, jazz-funk and world types of music. Pavlovich said, “Gilles Peterson and Jamie go back a long time and we sent Gilles a couple unreleased songs that we asked him to consider putting on his radio station, and Jamie’s was one of the songs that he picked. And it fits perfectly. We’re really happy to be able to put into the game and feel like it adds this incredible kind of range to the songs that are in the game.”
The response has been great for GTA V since its release, said Pavlovich, both from fans and the artists involved. Pavlovich said Flying Lotus called him soon after the game came out to say he wanted to be involved in any similar future opportunities — hence his new mix. A$AP Rocky for a while opened his live sets with his original GTA V song “R-Cali.” And even Lorde, it turns out, is even a fan of sorts. Though the mega star hasn’t had any direct affiliation with the game — she and her camp signed off on a cover of her song “Royals” that’s in the new, relaunched version by the Jamaican artist Demarco called “Loyal,” which sticks to the melody but reworks the lyrics entirely.
“[Lorde] heard the song and she was kind enough to approve it, so this is the first time this song will be licensed to any game or entertainment property,” said Pavlovich. “It’s a huge deal, you know? For her to be a fan of what we do and be a fan of this cover version that’s so kind of different from the original it’s a really big deal and it’s amazing that she kind of really supported everything and came onboard to cosign. … “It’s those kinds of songs that we’re able to find really early and we’re able to work with the record labels and the artists to make these things happen and get them into the game.”
Grand Theft Auto V is available for Playstation 4 and Xbox One on Nov. 18 and for PC Jan. 27, 2015.