As part of our ongoing series looking at YouTube stars today, we turn our attention to KSI. For those of you not familiar with him, he is one of the top 120 much-watched YouTubers. But how did he gain such popularity, where did he come from? Let’s take a look.
KSI was born on the 19th June 93 in a British town called Watford. His given name is Olajide Olayinka Williams Olatunji. (Can you see why he goes by KSI?) He attended a private school which is where he met his good friend (and later part of his YouTube collective) Simon Minter.
And it begins
KSI opened his first YouTube channel more than a decade ago, way back in 2008, a year later he started his current channel. He started to make decent money from his channel and rumour has it he spoke to his teacher about making it a career. His teacher asked him what he was making and when he replied saying about £1500 per month the teacher told him that it was more than he was making from teaching. The rest is history! His parents weren’t happy with him giving up on his education but were supportive in the end, even appearing on his YouTube videos from time to time.
The origins of his channel
As so many young Youtubers do he began by doing commentary on video games. In particular, he focused on FIFA, the popular EA football game. This gained him popularity and within three years he had notched up an impressive million subs. His strategy for growth was pretty modest, focusing on sharing his channel with friends and posting links on internet forums.
At first, he focused mainly on FIFA but after a while, he began diversifying and running more of a V-log, although gaming still featured heavily he covered other games such as GTA. By the time 2013 rolled around his channel had amassed a massive 3 million subscribers, this made him, at the time the 25th most-watched channel on YouTube
Of course, any young person left unsupervised on social media is going to eventually kick up a bit of controversy. The first spot of bother that he got himself in was his controversial and ongoing “rape face” gag. In most of his videos, he would pull a weird face which he claimed made him look like a rapist. It became a meme among young people but was widely derided for belittling the significance of sexual assault. Speaking of he was banned for life from Eurogamer events having been accused of verbally and sexually harassing the staff. He later apologised for this and vowed to move away from such behaviour.
As well as his videos, KSI has a lot of skills that he puts to use as part of developing his brand. He is a rapper and singer and has created music videos putting these skills to use. Famously he used these talents to create a diss track aimed at fellow YouTuber Logan Paul, with whom he had a feud.
Speaking of which, KSI has also stepped into the boxing ring. He has had a couple of amateur bouts and also taken on Logan Paul in two high-profile bouts, the second one professionally with no head protection and full weight gloves. KSI was victorious in both of these, though both were closely contested.
The future looks bright for the YouTube sensation. His feud with Logan Paul made the pair a lot of money and has helped his YouTube channel maintain its popularity. The young man is a self-made millionaire and shows no signs of slowing down.