Do you ever hear a song that immediately reminds you of a video game while you’re out and about? Well, with the plethora of radio stations in the Grand Theft Auto franchise, it’s hard for me to go anywhere without hearing a song that takes me back to Los Santos, Liberty City, or Vice City.
Hollywood Swinging by Kool and the Gang always reminds me of CJ busting a move in GTA: San Andreas, and The Set up by Favored Nations will take me back to the canon ending of GTA V. These songs and so so so many more can be heard on the radios for their retrospective games.
The musical is always cleverly chosen or even recorded for the era that is being portrayed. GTA V is set in the ‘present’ time, so we get a lot of current music. However, with San Andreas and Vice City, we’re taking back to the 90s and 80s, respectively. I love how the music can make you feel like you’re in that decade!
It’s hard to think of GTA without all its radio stations and the quirky people hosting them. There’s even a sprinkling of famous voices, especially in the newer entries. Let’s look at all the stations you can vibe along to. I’m sure everyone out there reading this will have a favorite. You’ll find out what mine is a little later…
Grand Theft Auto
Being the first entry in the mega-popular franchise, GTA didn’t quite go as all out with its radio stations as some of the later stories. It had a total of just seven radio stations, and most of them had no personality whatsoever.
Head Radio had a radio host in Eddie Symons, and we also had The Fergus Buckner Show FM, which was hosted by, you guessed it, Fergus Buckner. While the rest of the stations do have a host or DJ, they’re unnamed and not brought to life.
Other stations include N-CT FM, giving you the Hip Hop and Gangsta Rap vibes. The Funk was brought on Radio ’76 FM, and The Fix FM gave listeners their House and Dance fix. It’s Unleashed FM brought us Rock’n’Roll with the final station, Brooklyn Underground FM sending us into a trance with Drum and Bass plus some Techno.
GTA: London 1969 and London 1961
When the DLC for GTA was released, it also came with eleven brand-new stations for fans to enjoy, primarily down to its change of location to London. Despite the new additions, most of them will only play two songs. That can get pretty damn repetitive. Also, there’s a solid Italian film soundtrack theme going on. With the film “The Italian Job” reference often in the London 1969 pack, you can see why Italian music is commonly used.
Doctor Peter Pants-On is only named DJ, hosting Radio Penelope. Riz Ortolani is the only artist played, the same with Radio Andorra. Bush Sounds plays the beats of Reggae alongside Heavy Heavy Monster Sound, which also adds a bit of Ska.
Riz Ortonlani returns on Blow Upradio with just the one song, “Beat Fuga Shake.” Kaleidoscope, what a great name, takes its music from the Italian movie “Troppo per vivere… poco per morire”.
The Italian theme runs through these radio stations, with the Sound of Soho also picking out its songs from an Italian film called “Master Stroke” in English. I wonder if the name has anything to do with that? Westminister Wireless takes its music from “Devil in the Flesh,” yet another Italian film.
Radio 7 has two songs created by Rockstar Games. The team had their music juice flowing during production. GTA Pomp, GTA Spy Theme, and Austin Allegro Chase also have music created by Rockstar but only have one song/theme.
The dreaded commercial’s made their first appearance in GTA 2, but they always came with a side of humor, so I’ll let them slide. Also, some of the radio stations will only broadcast in certain districts.
Head Radio returns! And this won’t be the last time we see or hear from this radio station. Phanny Joe Styles and Johnny Riccaro are the hosts with two different music tastes. Styles will play more of the Dance and Pop world, with Riccaro adding the Rock and Funk.
The excitable Teriyaki-chan hosts Funami FM with the Downtown District show playing Drum and Bass. Dean Frantz is the Futuro FM DJ with a mixed bag of Funk, Dance, and some Classic Rock thrown in. The radio’s headquarters falls victim to a bombing during the game’s event but fear not! Frantz survives and continues to spin tracks.
Rockstar Radio, hey? This station is named after the franchise and even features the logo as part of its own. Sammy Starock hosts this Rock station; what a fitting name.
KREZ is only available in the Residential District and is hosted by Richie T and an unnamed woman who attempts to rap, but she really shouldn’t quit her day job, if you know what I mean. Hip Hop is all happening here. Another Residential District station is King 130.7, which has a strong Redneck vibe.
Lithium FM is another mixed bag, only available to those in the Downtown District. Its four songs are all different in genres, with even Christian Pop thrown in by DJ Spaz Funbags. If you want more Christian works, tune in to Heavenly Radio in the Industrial District. The host, Venus Ordelia, would like more people to join her side…
KGBH plays out in the Industrial District and is hosted by DJ Bomba Tomba and Prodo, despite the pair not seeming to be fond of each other. And finally, we have Osmosis Radio, where DJ Mama Doc spins Pop and Dance music.
Grand Theft Auto III
Despite being the first entry in the 3D era, Rockstar decided to go with just the nine radio stations, lowering down from GTA 2’s eleven. However, the stations’ standards significantly improved, giving us more choices to bop along to.
Head Radio is headed by Micheal Hunt this time around. Fun fact, he has his own star on the Vinewood Walk of Fame in GTA V. Head Radio still sticks to its Pop vibe with some Rock thrown in. Double Clef introduces Classical Music to GTA. It may not be a favored station to those players listening, but the Italian opera it plays draws in listeners like the Leone Family.
Chatter, Chatter, Chatter. That’s all you’ll get at Chatterbox FM, the first speaking-only station. It’s the first time we hear Laslow. We don’t officially meet him in person until GTA V’s events.
The Jamaican jams can be found at K-JAH, hosted by Horace Walsh. The only music played is by musician Scientist, off of his album “Scientist Rids the World of the Evil Curse of the Vampires.” The ’80s are brought to life on Flashback 95.6 by host DJ Toni, a powerhouse in radio stations across GTA. We’ll be hearing from her again later on.
Real-life DJs Stretch Armstrong and Lord Sear host Game Radio, with the tracklist all being stun by Armstrong. Rockstar certainly has its music ties. If you’re getting ready for a night in the club, Rise FM is the station to tune into. With tracks hosted by Andre “The Accelerator” and mixed by Terry Donovan, the Dance vibe is a strong one.
The jungle is massive in MSX FM. MC Codebreaker hosts this Drum and Bass station with DJ Timecode mixing it up. Lips 106 brings the pop with Andee. Think of a Top 40’s countdown, and this is what you’ll get.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
The tracklists are getting bigger and bigger! Lazlow’s back, and he’s helping out at V-Rock, the Rock station of Vice City. Well-known songs such as “I Wanna Rock” by Twisted Sister and “2 Minutes to Midnight” by Iron Maiden are showcased.
Wildstyle is an ‘underground pirate’ station, making it illegal to be on the airwaves. Despite this, host Mr. Magic still broadcasts a collection of Hip-Hop tunes, with some Funk and other genres mixed in. Amy Sheckenhausen chats to those of the Rich and Famous on K-Chat. However, the bubbly host is something of a celeb herself, also having a star on the Vinewood Walk of Fame in GTA V.
We have another returning host in the form of DJ Toni. You’ll find pretty much anything on Flash FM, but I’ll put its primary genre down as pop. Quite a bit of Flash FM’s tracklist will play during cutscenes, making it one of the most played stations in-game.
Emotion 98.3 will get you all up in your feels. Have a good old cry while Fernando Martinez plays those classic Power Ballads that we love to belt out. Yes, we do bless the rains down in Africa. Radio Espantoso gives us that Latin music feels that gets our feet moving. Pepe hosts, but even he goes annoyed at the looping broadcasts…
We have talk station number two in the Vice City Public Radio, abbreviated to VCPR. The main program, Pressing Issues, is hosted by Maurice Chavez and has some interesting discussions.
Adam first hosts Wave 103, described by a station jingle as “I’m the bastard lovechild of punk and disco.” Take that as you will. Fever 105 takes you down to the Disco and is probably the closest genre to that of the era Vice City is set in. Oliver “Lady Killer” Biscuit is the host and tries his best to be the next Barry White.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
To me, one of the most memorable radio stations comes from GTA: San Andreas. The country station K-Rose was a personal favorite of mine, firstly down to my middle name being rose, but mainly for the absolute tune, “All My Ex’s Live In Texas” by Whitey Shafer. As I drive along the San Andreas world, I’m constantly humming it to myself.
Playback FM gives us the old-school Hip-Hop, which boomed over the 90s. Forth Right MC is the man in charge there, and he’s even voiced by famous rapper Chuck D. making the station even more authentic.
West Coast Talk Radio, also known as WCTR, features numerous talk shows hosted by several people. Yet again, Lazlow is back with his program Entertaining America. Lonely Hearts, a relationship advice show, is hosted by Christy MacIntyre, plus so much more to talk about!
The Funktipus is one of the most incredible host names in the GTA radio station universe, and you’ll find them at Bounce FM. What makes it even better? They’re voiced by the great George Clinton, who brings all the Funk. Tommy “The Nightmare” Smith is the one in charge at Rock station K-DST. GTA pulled out their guns with voice actors, bringing in Guns N’ Roses founder Axl Rose.
We’re bringing the house down with Han Oberlander at SF-UR. This super secret, underground radio station operates out of San Fierro, but no one knows where…
Master Sounds 98.3 is all about the Rave Groove movement. Most of the music comes from the late 60s or early 70s, playing some of the oldest songs in-game. The host, Johnny Parkinson, isn’t a likable character because he talks about women and is believed to have “short man syndrome.”
We had K-JAH in GTA III. Well, now they’ve decided to bring the Jamaican sound to Los Santos with two hosts, Marshall Peters and Johnny Lawton. We’ve met Tommy Smith. Now meet Sage, a host whom Tommy has a weird vendetta about at Rock station Radio X. Coincidently enough, Axl Rose is mentioned a few times by Sage, and she plays Guns N’ Roses.
Radio Los Santos is used twice in the GTA world, in San Andreas, then again in V., It brings the Hip to the Hop. Sorry, I couldn’t resist! Julio G is the man on deck in the San Andreas version. We have a mixed bag from Phillip Michaels at CSR 103.9. While it’s described as a Soul station, it still has the occasional Hip-Hop and Pop music blended in.
GTA Liberty City Stories
Set three years before the events of GTA III, Liberty City Stories includes many of the same stations, including Head Radio, Double Clef FM, K-JAH, Rise FM, and Lips 106. MSX FM also makes an appearance but is differently named MSX 98. So does Flashback 95.6 but as Flashback FM.
New stations include Radio Del Mundo, a “Worldbeat” station offering music from all over the globe and headed by Panjit Gavaskar. The Liberty Jam added the East Coast Hip-Hop tunes to Liberty City with help from DJ Clue. Finally, for those interested, there is a talk show, Liberty City Free Radio, with more various stories from Liberty City.
GTA Vice City Stories
Flash FM, V-Rock, VCPR, Wave 103, Fresh 105, Radio Espantoso, and Emotion 98.3 all got nods to return for Vice City Stories. It must have been popular! Just the two new stations are added with VCFL giving us a Soul and Paradise FM bringing constant Disco. That’s what we like to see in Vice City.
Grand Theft Auto IV
Grand Theft Auto IV really went with more is better, so bare with me on the soundtrack to the HD Liberty City. We have 23, yes, 23 radio stations, more than double that of San Andreas, the highest tally in the 3D world. Electro-Choc just made me immediately think of chocolate, but alas, there is none. Instead, there are Electro-House beats spun by François K.
You’ll get those sweet Jazz tunes at Fusion FM with Roy Ayers. Now it’s time to Funk it up at International Funk 99 with Femi Kuti, who states they’re the son of musician Fela Kuti. Being part of music runs in that family!
Jazz is back. This time it’s the Classic Jazz tones at Jazz Nation Radio 108.5. Roy Haynes plays some music that dates back to the 40s! K109 The Studio adds Disco to Liberty City with legendary fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld. Another big name in GTA.
There’s no better way to bring the Punk than with Liberty City Hardcore. Jimmy Gestapo plays those songs that get out all the angst of the biker in you. Which special host do we have next? Just the one and only Iggy Pop at Liberty Rock Radio. It does mean we have a The Stooges song snuck into the playlist.
Massive B Soundsystem has some of the best Dancehall tunes released between 2006 and 2008. Host Bobby. Konders does his best to put his own twist on things, which isn’t always appreciated.
We have more Rock at Radio Broker. Actress Juliette Lewis is hosting the station, which features mostly Rock that was released around the game’s release. We finally get a bit of Latin in GTA with San Juan Sounds. Danny Yankee fronts it, the man that was also featured on everyone’s favorite hit, Despacito.
The Beat 102.7 has double hosting duties in DJ Mister Cee and DJ Green Lantern; what great names! They showcase the contemporary side of Hip-Hop, which has made its way into Liberty City’s culture. Having the name of The Classics 104.1 kind of gives away what sort of music it will be playing. DJ Premier plays those old-school Hip-Hop hits.
The Journey is one weird station. It doesn’t have a ‘host,’ just a talking computer. Its music is also non-lyrical. However, if you grew up around beachfront arcades like me, you’ll recognize the tune “Oxygène, Pt 4”. You’ll get music for all ages at The Vibe 98.8. Vaughn Harper plays music as recent as Ne-Yo’s “Because of You” to the 70s hit “It’s Only Love Doing Its Thing” by Barry White.
Reggae is on the menu at Tuff Gong Radio. Legendary Jamaican DJ Carl Bradshaw is the voice of this station. Eastern European flavor is on show at Vladivostok FM. Ruslana hosts this station, which is a favorite of protagonist Niko Bellic.
Want more talking? You’ll get it at WKTT Talk Radio which hoists three programs in the main game and adds two new ones for the DLCs, but more on that later. They like to talk on Public Liberty Radio. It features three programs: The Séance, Pacemaker, and Intelligent Agenda. Tune in to hear all about them.
Here comes Lazlow again. He sure does get around a bit. This time he’s at Integrity 2.0, a talk show broadcasted to Liberty City. It’s mostly just him running about the streets, finding people that will talk to him. The following three stations are PC exclusives, just FYI. RamJam FM brings the Reggae with David Rodigan. Self-Actualization FM has the Ambient vibe with Audrey. Fernando Martinez showcases 80s Pop at Vice City FM.
No new stations were introduced for Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City, primarily due to the stories being around the same timeframe as the main game’s events. However, not all stations are showcased. The ones you have access to are:
- K109 The Studio
- Liberty City Hardcore
- Liberty Rock Radio
- Radio Broker
- San Juan Sounds
- The Beat 102.7
- WKTT Talk Radio
- Integrity 2.0
- RamJam FM
- Self-Actualization FM
- Vice City FM
Grand Theft Auto V
I told you that Radio Los Santos returns. However, host Julio G is no more; instead, we have Big Boy on the wave. Fun Fact: Big Boy voiced Big Bear in San Andreas. Rockstar is undoubtedly loyal to some of its veterans.
Bring me the Funk at Space 103.2. Bootsy Collins is the host, and you often hear Amanda de Santa blaring out this station.
West Coast Classics brings out all of the finest Hip-Hop tracks along the west. DJ Pooh is the host, and he is one of the few DJs or radio hosts that you can meet after he was introduced in GTA Online. Rebel Radio was my favorite station. I seem to have a thing for country music in GTA but not so much in real life, bizarre! Presenter Jesco White can be found in-game, tap-dancing on the Foreclosed North Alamo Pier.
Kenny Loggins leads the way on Los Santos Rock Radio. He even lends a few of his songs to the station; how kind of him.
The Lowdown 91.1 is led by another famous name, Pam Grier. That contact book at Rockstar just keeps getting bigger. This station brings a lot of Soul to Los Santos.
Bringing Reggae to Los Santos was The Blue Ark, hosted by the late, great Lee “Scratch” Perry. A name I didn’t expect to see in GTA was Cara Delevingne, but she was the famous face chosen to lend her voice to Non-Stop-Pop FM.
East Los FM brings the Latin falvor to Los Santos. We get not one but two radio personalities in Don Cheto and Camilo Lara as, of course, themselves. I was kind of hoping that Pitbull would be the one presenting on WorldWide FM, but alas, it is not. The station’s name gives the genre away; it’s the mixed music of the world! London-living Gilles Peterson spins this station.
Channel X is Punk Rock to the extreme, especially when you’ve got a host like Keith Moriss bringing track after track.
It may be a small area in Los Santos, but Mirror Park gets its own station in Radio Mirror Park. While the station predominately plays Indie music, Electropop and Psychedelia do get blended into the mix. George Lewis Jr., also known as Twin Shadow, is the man behind the spinning here.
Vinewood Boulevard Radio’s modern Rock sounds are brought to you by two members of the band, Wavves, Nate Williams, and Stephen Pope. Techno, Techno, Techno! Soulwax FM doesn’t bring you the Soul but all the ‘latest’ Techno hits. Belgian group Soulwax, the name makes sense now, blends the tracks for one party of a playlist.
Flying Lotus is the one in charge at FlyLo FM. Most of the Hip-Hop tracklist is either a song by himself, or he produced the tune. Blaine County Radio can only be heard while out, causing chaos in the sands of Blaine County. The three programs are pretty political, hosted by Bobby June, Duane Earl, and our pal Ron Jakowski.
To flip, West Coast Talk Radio, also known as WCTR, is a talk show hosted by many people. But as promised, Lazlow returns! We finally get to meet the infamous Lazlow during the events of GTA V. Although; he doesn’t leave a great first impression…
Doctor No and Chemical Bro, more fantastic names, lead the way at The Lab. A Hip-Hop station with some R&B and Gangsta Rap rolled in.
The following three stations didn’t exist when GTA V first launched. Instead, they were added to GTA: Online and slowly made their way to story mode. However, you can only get these stations if you have the Enhanced Version. Having one of the largest tracklists, it was no surprise that blonded Los Santos 97.8 FM was migrated over. Its main host is Frank Ocean, a mixed bag of styles, but we’ll label it an Urban station.
Unfortunately, the host at Los Santos Underground Radio never gets named. She likes to keep herself a big secret. This station works slightly differently from others in that if a DJ has a residency at the Los Santos nightclub, their setlist gets added, making it a massive station for content.
Being one of the newer stations, iFruit Radio has some of the latest tracks in the GTA V world, with most of its tracks released in 2019. Danny Brown hosts the station, with Skepta popping up as a special guest.
Four stations are exclusive to GTA: Online. Kult FM, hosted by Julian Casablancas and Zachary, brings Alternative Rock to the airwaves. Still Slipping Los Santos is Electronic with Joy Orbison. Added during the Cayo Perico Heist was Music Locker Radio, a House station hosted by an unnamed female. ROSALÍA has become a star and hosts the Latin music station MOTOMANI Los Santos with Arca.
GTA Radio Stations and Personalities: FAQs
Question: Who is in charge of the music at Rockstar Games?
Answer: While there isn’t one singular person that runs the music side of things, Woody Jackson has become the most recognizable name. He’s worked with Rockstar since 2008 and has helped on the Red Dead series, L.A Noire and GTA V.
Question: Does Grand Theft Auto have exclusive music?
Answer: Many of the franchise entries, especially GTA V, had music composed particularly for the game. GTA V’s central theme, “Welcome to Los Santos,” was composed by The Alchemist and Oh No, who also feature in-game on The Lab station.
Question: Can I play my personalized playlist in the GTA games?
Answer: Self Radio is a station that was added to just the PC versions of GTA V. This allows players to listen to their music. Similarly, Independence FM was added to the PC version of GTA IV, MIXTAPE was created for the mobile versions of San Andreas, and User Track Player for the PC and Xbox versions. Vice City had Tape Deck for mobile, and Xbox with MP3 Player introduced for the PC version. MP3 Player was also in the PC version of GTA III.