Interview with Jonathan Rikner (@jonathanrikner)


Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path? 


Actually, when I finished school, I started as a pilot. But a few years later, I became bored with it. You wouldn’t think so, but the autopilot is doing too much nowadays.

 So when I quit as a pilot, I wasn’t sure what to do. Relatively quick I found my old hobby of concert lighting. I found a local company in Uppsala where I live and work from the bottom up. Starting out, I didn’t know a single thing on how to do lighting, and now I am here.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started doing this? 

I’ve been through a lot of strange things, I’ve been with artists to the U.S., Russia, Australia, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, and lots more. But the story that remains closest to my heart is this one:

Many years ago, after my first breakup, long before I started in the music industry, I had this one go-to song. It was Lullaby with Hoffmaestro. 

Many years later, last year (2019) to be specific, I had come so far in the industry, that I was the Lighting Tech and Tour Manager for Hoffmaestro.

When the summer came to an end, Jens, who has the band wanted to talk with me. He told me that I’m part of their family and that they think that I’m young and driven and that they look up to me.

 It was such a life-changing and fascinating feeling to suddenly have your heroes look up to you.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”? 

Always think about yourself and your body. We work a lot of hours (often more than 15-20 hours a day), and we have a lot of stress to handle. So make sure to keep hydrated, eat as often as possible, and don’t go to every afterparty. Even though it’s the most fun thing to do at the moment, you’ll most of the time regret it the morning after.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story? 

I’ve got help from several people along the way. And I’ll always be grateful for everything I’ve gotten. But I would especially say thank you to my old boss Markus, who was there for me when I was brand new in the industry and had no earlier experience or contacts. He really believed in me, which made me come a really long way in such a short period of time.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? 

My mother always told me to spread the joy, so I do as much as I can. I give a lot of my income to charity, for the moment especially the Alzheimer’s research progress as I lost my grandma in it last week, and my grandpa has suffered from it for a really long time.

Otherwise, I always try to be cheerful and really tries to help everyone in my surrounding to feel better and have more joy.

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life? 

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them―that only creates sorrow. Let reality be a reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” ―Lao Tzu

 For my entire life, I’ve tried to not get stuck anywhere and stay just for the easy being. I’ve followed the flow and accepted everything that has happened. Even the bad things in my life have happened for a better thing to follow it. I’m grateful for just following life’s challenges, and so far it’s going perfect.

How can our readers follow you on social media? 

I would recommend to follow me on my Instagram, JonathanRikner, because that’s where I post almost everything that happens in my life. A lot of travel pictures, combined with a lot of different stages I work at. Nobody wants to see holiday pictures, right? Haha.

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Jonathan Rikner (@jonathanrikner)

Chelsey Jeet (@chelseyjxoxo)