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The Game Changers

Meet the new generation of innovators.

The DJ  // Waking up the charts

With his first full-length album, Swedish DJ Avicii is breathing new life into the world of electronic dance music.

Life can’t get much sweeter than when you’re 24 years old and “work” involves topping pop charts around the globe and playing tunes in some of the hottest clubs on the planet. Such is the life of Swedish-born Tim Bergling, more commonly known by his stage name Avicii. Bergling began remixing and producing tracks at the age of 18, and had released more than 20 tracks to varying levels of success before his big breakthrough with 2011’s Etta James’ sampling smash “Levels.” But it’s his latest single, “Wake Me Up,” that many experts expect to launch him into the stratosphere. The first cut from his just-released debut album, #True, “Wake Me Up” combines folk, soul, and synths in a way that shouldn’t work, but does—in a big way. Within weeks of its release, the track topped charts in 48 countries, becoming a huge hit in the U.S. and the biggest-selling single of the year (so far) in the U.K. “I work with all these people from different genres, and they all bring their own influences into my work,” says Bergling. “It’s so interesting to see what comes out. —Brian Good

Fit Fact: Bergling spends the majority of his time on the road, surrounded by Red Bull and airport food. Still, he fits in fitness whenever possible. “I travel with several different strengths of TRX bands and some ropes,” he says. “There are so many different exercises you can do without a gym. That’s the way I’ve solved it, for now.”

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THE MODERN INKEEPER // Rebooting the hotel

Ace Hotel founder Alex Calderwood thinks your hotel should be the most Instagram-worthy part of any trip.

No matter how much you travel, there’s nothing familiar about the experience of checking in at an Ace Hotel. Co-founded by Alex Calderwood, 45, a self-described “cultural engineer,” an Ace is like a thrift store, performance art center, and hip bar all in one. There are salvaged details that give the hotels a lived-in feel, vintage furniture with a soulful vibe, and modern amenities that exude luxury.

And that unconventional approach is paying off in spades. Started in 1999 in a former flophouse in Seattle, Ace now has hotels in Portland, New York City, Palm Springs, and London, with the newest opening soon in downtown L.A.

Ever-expanding— Calderwood has said he’d like to open one or two hotels every year—the entrepreneur is bucking trends while remaining übertrendy. “The thing that’s been successful for us is to challenge convention,” he told Entrepreneur magazine. “To not always buy into the idea that things have to work the way they have in the past, or operate the way the industry tells you they should. —Adam Bible

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