An influencer, YouTuber, professional boxer, musician, and entrepreneur. Here, we look back at the history of KSI, also known as JJ.
Who is KSI?
Olajide Olayinka Williams Olatunji, or as he is better known online, KSI, or JJ, is a UK-based YouTuber who has recently ventured into many other, and rather different, career paths.
The beginning: 2008 – 2013
KSI created his first YouTube account in 2008 under the name JideJunior, however, his current YouTube channel was created in 2009.
The name KSI stands for knowledge, strength and integrity and he now has the words tattooed on his body.
In the beginning, KSI focused his content primarily around games and, in particular, commentary-style videos of FIFA.
When his career as a YouTuber began to take off, he dropped out of sixth form to pursue a career online.
Throughout the years, KSI continued to share gaming-related content and branched out into more than just FIFA. It wasn’t long before KSI began sharing vlogs and in 2012, he reached the ultimate milestone: one million subscribers. And by the end of 2013, he had achieved more than three million.
Throughout this time, many of KSI’s videos went viral and his subscribers began to creep up even more. In 2013, he also broke a Guinness World Record for scoring goals against the computer in FIFA, with a tally of 190.
Though his journey to the top of the social media ladder was triumphant, it wasn’t always plain sailing. However, KSI grew up alongside his audience and became one of the biggest internet stars in the world.
2013 – 2017: The era of the Sidemen
It was during this time that KSI signed with Polaris and in since October 2013, he has been part of the British YouTube group known as the Sidemen.
The Sidemen are renowned for their hilarious online videos that often include challenges, sketches and of course, gaming videos.
The group soon took off and it wasn’t long before they began selling their very own merchandise and even released their own book, Sidemen: The Book, and embarked upon a UK tour. Prior to this in 2015, KSI published his first biography.
During their time as a group, the Sidemen have hosted a number of football events in a bid to raise money for various charities.
In 2017, KSI and the rest of Sidemen released several diss-tracks, which became globally viewed and listened to by millions.
2017 – 2019: Boxing and music
Image source: Instagram
Proving to be more than just an influencer and YouTuber, KSI developed an interest in boxing. And, following well-publicised disagreements with fellow YouTuber Joe Weller, the two took part in an amateur boxing match in 2018, of which KSI won by way of technical knockout.
The match was described as the biggest white-collar boxing match in history, achieving more than 25 million views within a handful of days.
KSI went on to have a second amateur boxing match with Logal Paul, and after the fight failed to announce a winner, the pair kicked things up a notch with their very first professional boxing match.
In preparation, KSI was trained by Jeff Mayweather, the Uncle of Floyd Mayweather Jr. Clearly, the training paid off as KSI was declared the winner.
After creating a few comedy rap songs for his YouTube channel during his earlier years online, KSI released his debut single, Lamborghini, in 2015.
2019 to present
Image source: Instagram
Since then, KSI has continued to regularly share his music, but only really began to make noise when he signed with RBC Records and BMG.
Now, KSI regularly tops the charts, collaborating with the likes of Anne-Marie, Craig David, Nathan Dawe and YUNGBLUD.
Whilst he laps up his newfound fame in the music industry, KSI still uploads videos to his YouTube channel and often updates fans on Instagram, too.
Proving that he is more than just a social media star and musician, KSI decided to add TV personlity to his belt, too. Branching out into the world of TV, KSI starred in Celebrity Gogglebox for Stand Up To Cancer.
In 2021, KSI took part in The Great Stand Up To Cancer Bake Off, competing against Stacey Dooley, Jade Thirlwall and Katherine Ryan.
2021 may have only just begun, but KSI continues to take the online world by storm, and we can’t wait to see (or listen to!) his next move.
If you’d like to work with KSI, or any other gaming or music and entertainment influencers, then contact our team of influencer marketing experts today by emailing [email protected] or give us a call on 0203 9580 427.