“New wave steamrolled onto Vice City's music charts in the early 80s, thanks in large part to the efforts of celebrated radio personality, Adam First. This station features revolutionary acts broken by Wave 103 such as Flock of Seagulls and Blondie.”
— GTA Vice City Website
“I'm the bastard lovechild of punk and disco. I'm the Wave 103.”
Much like the real life new wave genre, Wave 103 assumes an intellectual, pop-art, post-punk nihilistic and technology-loving attitude. It cellebrates the advance of digital equipment in music, through idents like "Who needs music with soul? We've got drum machines!" and "Who needs guitars? We've got little computer synthesizer thingies." The station also celebrates new wave's fashion quirks, like that "the boys wear more make up than the girls" and the "sexual ambiguity".
Its DJ, Adam First, acts like a connoisseur of modern music that knows vanguardist British bands before they are known in the United States. He is a big fan of new wave acts and can mention years and dates about them. At one point, however, he voices his non-conformity with the fact that in the new era of video clips and MTV, the image of a band is more important than its music, something that comes at odds with the new wave essence, as the genre greatly benefitted from having a more visual medium where it could showcase its eccentric fashion aesthetics.
GTA- Vice City Stories - Wave 103 (Rev. 1) - Full radio
The name of the station is a reference to both the new wave music on the station's playlist, and to the radio station Wave 102 in Dundee, Scotland, where DMA Design (which subsequently became Rockstar North) was founded.