As the Music Director at Rockstar Games, Ivan Pavlovich is responsible for the tunes you hear while ducking the cops in Grand Theft Auto or exploring the Red Dead Redemption prairie.
But even before Ivan Pavlovich was soundtracking high-risk heists and virtual helicopter rides, he was knee-deep in music. In Chicago he was at clubs “literally four, five, six nights a week DJing”, producing records, and generally burning the candle at both ends.
It’s this history that’s allowed him to leverage names like Flying Lotus, Julian Casablancas, Gilles Petersen, D’Angelo, and too many more to count for in-game appearances or compositions. His latest pursuit, however, has taken him back to his roots: clubs. With The Cayo Perico Heist, Grand Theft Auto Online’s massive new update, he’s is attempting to build a musical experience inside a video game that’s closer to real life than we’ve ever been.
In the wide world of GTA Online it’s now possible to catch legit DJ sets from Moodymann, Palms Trax, The Blessed Madonna, or Solomun (to name a few). Rockstar motion captures these artists, imports their mixes into the game, then blasts their choice tunes from in-game speakers for players to enjoy. It’s a unique digital space that’s a step above live-streamed concerts and a step below live music – but if anyone can close that gap, it’s Ivan Pavlovich.
This article appears in print in Happy Mag Issue 15. Grab you copy here.