KSI

  (Redirected from The Online Takeover)

Olajide Olayinka Williams Olatunji (/ɒləˈd ɒləˈtun/, oh-lah-JEE-day oh-lah-TUHN-jee; born 19 June 1993), better known as KSI, is a British YouTuber and rapper.[6] In 2019, he was ranked second by The Sunday Times in its list of the top 100 UK influencers.[7] He is also part of the British YouTube group known as the Sidemen.

KSI
JJ Olatunji (KSI) 6.jpg
KSI in 2020
Born
Olajide Olayinka Williams Olatunji[1][2]

(1993-06-19) 19 June 1993 (age 28)[3]
Occupation
YouTube information
Channels
Years active2009–present
Genre
Subscribers35 million (combined)
Total views8.6 billion (combined)
Associated actsSidemen
YouTube Silver Play Button 2.svg 100,000 subscribers 2011, 2012, 2021
YouTube Gold Play Button 2.svg 1,000,000 subscribers 2012, 2013
YouTube Diamond Play Button.svg 10,000,000 subscribers 2015, 2020

Updated: 21 August 2021
Musical career
Genres
Years active2015–present
Labels
Associated acts
Boxing career
Statistics
Nickname(s)The Nightmare[5]
Weight(s)Cruiserweight[5]
Height6 ft 0 in (183 cm)[5]
Reach76 in (193 cm)[5]
StanceOrthodox[5]
Boxing record
Total fights1
Wins1
Wins by KO0
Losses0
Websiteshopksi.com

KSI registered his main YouTube account in 2009 and built a following posting gaming-commentary videos of the FIFA video game series. His YouTube content has diversified to include vlog and comedy style videos. As of March 2021, he has over 34 million subscribers and over 8 billion video views across his two YouTube channels.

KSI's 2020 debut studio album, Dissimulation, debuted at number 2 on the UK Albums Chart. His second studio album, All Over The Place, debuted at number 1. He has achieved fourteen top 40 singles on the UK Singles Chart, seven of them ending up in the Top 10 and five of them ending up in the Top 5. KSI featured in the British comedy film Laid in America (2016), and was the subject of KSI: Can't Lose (2018), a documentary film following the build-up to his first amateur boxing fight against British YouTuber Joe Weller. He was involved in two further boxing events against American YouTuber Logan Paul, the second of which was a professional bout.

Early and personal life

Olajide Olayinka Williams Olatunji was born on 19 June 1993.[1][2][3] His father, Jide, is from Ibadan, Nigeria and his mother, Yinka, is from Islington, London.[8] Raised in Watford, Hertfordshire,[4] he was educated at Berkhamsted School in Berkhamsted, where he met future collaborator and Sidemen member Simon Minter.[9]

KSI's younger brother, Deji, is also a YouTuber. The brothers ranked first and second respectively as the "UK's Most Influential YouTube Creators" by Tubular Labs in 2015.[10][11]

In late November 2018, Deji revealed KSI's personal bank records in a video. KSI later condemned Deji's actions and expressed his disappointment towards his parents for allowing the publication of his financial records.[12] In November 2019, KSI revealed that their feud was settled, stating that "brothers fight and there's always gonna be a situation where, because we're in the public eye, everything gets blown out of proportion".[13]

KSI is a supporter of Arsenal F.C.[14]

YouTube career

2008–2013: Beginnings, FIFA videos and controversy

 
KSI shooting a video for his YouTube channel in 2012

KSI registered his first account on YouTube under the username "JideJunior" in 2008 while in his early teens.[15] He registered his current YouTube account on 24 July 2009 under the name KSIOlajideBT, where he uploaded gaming–commentary videos of the FIFA video game series from his bedroom at his parents' house in Watford.[4][7] He dropped out of sixth form college to pursue his YouTube career once he was earning steady monthly revenue from his uploads. In an interview in 2014, he recounted asking his teacher whether he should drop-out. His teacher asked how much KSI was making from YouTube, to which KSI answered, "around £1,500 a month", which was more than his teacher earned. His parents initially disapproved, but later became supportive and featured in a number of his videos.[4]

KSI later uploaded more vlog-style content and played a variety of games and in 2012, the channel reached a million subscribers.[16][4]

KSI's rise to fame was not without controversy. He was widely criticised for his self-described 'rape-face', a recurring joke on his channel during 2012 and 2013,[4] and was the centre of a controversy following third-party allegations of sexual harassment of female staff at a Eurogamer event in 2012, that went so far as accusing him of sexually assaulting a spokesmodel Brandy Brewer, despite her tweeting that she consented to the motorboat, writing, "it's called comedy……relax".[17][18] As a result, Microsoft cut ties with KSI and he was banned from Eurogamer events.[19] KSI subsequently apologised "for any offence the video of 15 months ago may have caused in the short time it was on his YouTube channel, references to it since and subsequently used by other people" and stated his desire to move on from the incident and "be judged on the great content and value he gives to brands and partners, without controversy."[20]

2013–present: Sidemen and expanding content

In October 2013, KSI signed with Maker Studios' sub-network, Polaris.[21] Since 19 October 2013, KSI has been part of the British YouTube group known as the Sidemen.[22] The group produces online videos, most often consisting of challenges, sketches and video-game commentary, as well as selling exclusive Sidemen merchandise.[23][24]

In 2015, KSI published a biography titled KSI: I Am a Bellend.[25] The book was released on 24 September 2015 in the UK and five days later in the United States, and KSI toured to support the book from its release until 4 October 2015.[26]

In 2016, KSI and the Sidemen published Sidemen: The Book,[27] which sold 26,436 copies within three days and topped the hardback nonfiction charts.[28]

On 4 August 2017, KSI tweeted that he would be leaving the Sidemen, citing conflicts with fellow member, Ethan Payne.[29] Shortly thereafter, he released a number of diss track videos criticising members of his then-former group, to which most of the members responded back with their own.[30] Later that month, KSI released a video in which he claimed that he was being deported from the United States for receiving an incorrect visa.[31] In November 2017, KSI released a video discussing whether his supposed falling out with the Sidemen was real or fake, saying, "[the drama] wasn't entirely real but wasn't entirely fake either."[30]

Boxing career

Amateur career

KSI vs. Joe Weller

Supposed hostilities between KSI and British Youtuber, Joe Weller, began towards the end of 2017. Following public disagreements on Twitter and diss-tracks between the pair, they announced that they would host an amateur boxing match on 3 February 2018 at Copper Box Arena, London, to settle the feud. During the announcement, the pair confronted each other, with KSI mocking Weller's struggles with depression and his use of antidepressants for which he later apologised.[30]

The fight was won by KSI 1 minute and 37 seconds into the third round by way of technical knockout.[32] KSI expressed his respect for Weller after the fight for being "way harder, way tougher than I thought," and praised him for his commitment to raising awareness for mental health, before calling out American YouTuber Logan Paul, his brother Jake Paul, and retired footballer Rio Ferdinand.[33] On YouTube, the fight drew 1.6 million live viewers, 21 million views within a day,[34] and over 25 million over the next several days. The bout was described as the biggest white-collar boxing fight in history.[35]

KSI vs. Logan Paul I

On 24 February 2018, it was announced that KSI would be fighting Logan Paul in a white-collar boxing amateur boxing match.[36] The fight ended as a majority draw, with two judges scoring the fight even at 57–57 and a third judge scoring 58–57 in favor of KSI.[37] It was described as "the biggest white collar boxing match in history" by The Independent,[38] and "the biggest amateur boxing match in history" by the Radio Times.[39] It sold-out 21,000 tickets for Manchester Arena,[40] generated an estimated live gate revenue of over £2.7 million ($3.5 million),[41] and was watched by over 2.25 million viewers live, including over 1.05 million watching pay-per-view[42] and 1.2 million watching illegal streams on Twitch.[43][44][45]

Professional career

KSI vs. Logan Paul II

 
KSI fighting Logan Paul at the Staples Center, Los Angeles

A rematch between KSI and Paul was held on 9 November 2019 at the Staples Center, Los Angeles, and was promoted by Eddie Hearn.[46] Unlike the first fight, the rematch was a professional fight without the use of headgear.[47] KSI was trained by professional boxer, Viddal Riley, and Jeff Mayweather, uncle of Floyd Mayweather Jr.[48]

Some journalists criticised KSI and Paul for using the event as a 'cash grab' and questioned the legitimacy of the match as a professional bout, or questioned the choice of putting professional world-title bouts on an undercard to two YouTubers. The executive director of the California State Athletic Commission (the fight's sanctioning body), Andy Foster, defended the accusation that the YouTubers weren't fit to fight professionally, saying in an interview that "If they weren't YouTube stars, this fight is still approvable in every commission in this country as debut athletes". Kevin Draper of The New York Times noted KSI, Paul and the organisers' intention to bring a new audience to a 'stagnant' sport and highlights the fact both YouTubers sought coaching from world-champion boxers and trainers.[48] Several professional boxers expressed support for the event, highlighting the benefit it could bring to boxing in terms of expanding the sport's audience.[49]

After six three-minute rounds, KSI was the winner via split decision, with two judges scoring the fight 57–54 and 56–55 for KSI, while the third judge scored it 56–55 in favour of Paul.[50] When asked about a possible rematch, Paul expressed his support for the idea, but KSI rejected any prospect of a third fight against Paul, saying "It's done ... I'm on to the next thing".[51][52]

Music career

2015–2016: Early releases

Having written and produced comedy–rap songs for his YouTube channel in 2011,[7] KSI released his debut single, "Lamborghini", featuring British grime MC P Money, on 23 March 2015, with Dcypha Productions.[53] The song charted at number 30 on the UK Singles Chart.[54]

"Keep Up", the title song for KSI's debut extended play of the same name, featuring Jme, was released on 13 November 2015,[55] reaching number 45 on the UK Singles Chart.[54] The full EP was released on 8 January 2016, through Island Records, debuting at number 13 on the UK Albums Chart and number one on the UK R&B Albums Chart.[56][54][57]

On 29 April 2016, KSI released "Goes Off", featuring Mista Silva, as the first single from his second EP titled Jump Around.[58] The EP's second single, "Friends with Benefits", featuring MNDM, was released on 29 July 2016,[59][60] reaching number 69 on the UK Singles Chart.[54] The full EP was released on 28 October 2016 through Island Records.[61] One of the EP's songs, "Touch Down", featuring rapper and singer Stefflon Don, appeared on the soundtrack of the 2017 film Baywatch.[62]

2017–2019: Independent releases

 
KSI performing in 2019 on his New Age tour

On 23 June 2017, KSI independently released "Creature",[63] which reached number 100 on the UK Singles Chart.[54] "Creature" was the first single from KSI's third EP, Space, which was released independently on 30 June 2017.[64] On 6 October that year, KSI released his fourth EP, Disstracktions, which includes diss tracks against fellow Sidemen members W2S and Behzinga.[65] The EP reached number 31 on the UK Albums Chart and number one on the UK R&B Albums Chart.[54][66] One week before its release, KSI announced that the EP would be his "final release" with Island Records and that he would be releasing music independently.[67]

On 2 February 2018, KSI released "Uncontrollable", featuring Big Zuu.[68] The song played during KSI's ring walk for his boxing fight against Joe Weller[69] and charted at number 89 on the UK Singles Chart.[54] KSI released "On Point" on 17 August 2018,[70] which was played during his ring walk for his second boxing bout.[71]

On 12 April 2019, KSI released a collaborative album with Randolph titled New Age.[72] It debuted at number 17 on the UK Albums Chart and at number one on the UK R&B Albums Chart.[73][74]

2019–2020: New record label signing and Dissimulation

On 4 November 2019, it was announced that KSI had signed with RBC Records and BMG to "take [his] music to the next level" and "further develop his music career in the US and internationally". In addition to managing KSI's future releases, it was confirmed that the label would be administering and reissuing KSI's independent catalogue recordings. That day, it was confirmed that KSI had already started recording his debut studio album.[75] On 8 November 2019, "Down Like That", featuring Rick Ross, Lil Baby and S-X, was released as the album's lead single.[76] It was performed live by the three featured artists as KSI's entrance music for his boxing rematch against Logan Paul.[77] The song peaked at number 10 on the UK Singles Chart and it has been certified silver by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) for sales of 200,000 units in the country.[54][78] A further three singles preceded the album: "Wake Up Call", featuring Trippie Redd, which debuted at number 11 on the UK Singles Chart; "Poppin", featuring Lil Pump and Smokepurpp, which charted at number 43 in the UK; and "Houdini", featuring Swarmz and Tion Wayne, which debuted at number six on the UK Singles Chart and received a silver certification from the BPI.[54][79]

KSI's debut studio album, titled Dissimulation, was released on 22 May 2020.[80] The album debuted at number two on the UK Albums Chart and further charted in 15 other countries.[54] It was the UK's best-selling debut album by a British artist in 2020 and it has been certified gold by the BPI for sales of 100,000 units in the country.[81][82] The album spawned two further UK top 40 singles, "Cap", featuring Offset, and "Killa Killa", featuring Aiyana-Lee.[54] KSI was scheduled to perform at Parklife, Longitude and Reading and Leeds music festivals in 2020 to promote Dissimulation, but these were later cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[83][84][85]

KSI featured on "Lighter" by British DJ and record producer Nathan Dawe.[86] The song peaked at number three on the UK Singles Chart and became one of the UK's best-selling songs of 2020.[54][87] It has been certified platinum by the BPI for sales of 600,000 units in the UK and it was nominated for Best British Single at the 2021 BRIT Awards.[88][89] KSI also featured on "Loose" by Zimbabwean-British artist S1mba, which peaked at number 14 on the UK Singles Chart.[90][54]

2020–present: All Over the Place and The Online Takeover

On 23 October 2020, KSI released the first single from his second album, "Really Love" featuring Craig David and Digital Farm Animals, which peaked at number three on the UK Singles Chart and has been certified gold by the BPI.[91] On 15 January 2021, KSI released the album's second single, "Don't Play" with Anne-Marie and Digital Farm Animals. The song debuted at number two on the UK Singles Chart, becoming KSI's highest-charting single in the UK to date, and has been certified platinum by the BPI.[92][93] On 12 March 2021, KSI released the album's third single, "Patience" featuring Yungblud and Polo G, which debuted at number 3 on the UK Singles Chart and has been certified silver by the BPI.[94][95]

On 16 February 2021, KSI announced on Twitter the creation of his own record label named "The Online Takeover" in partnership with his music manager Mams Taylor. Shortly after, he announced the first signee of his label, which was American-British singer Aiyana-Lee, who featured on the track "Killa Killa".[96][97]

On 26 April 2021, KSI announced via his social media the release of his second album All Over the Place, which was released on 16 July 2021.[98] It debuted at number 1 on the UK Album Charts, giving KSI his first-ever chart-topper, and has been certified silver by the BPI for surpassing 60,000 sales in the country.[99]

On 18 June 2021, KSI released the album's fourth single, "Holiday", which was only featured on the platinum edition of the album. The single was originally not planned to be on the album and "You" was set to be the fourth single to be released on 4 June. Due to people leaking songs off the album, including "You", the fourth single was changed to "Holiday". The song debuted at number 2 on the UK Singles Chart, making it KSI's highest-charting solo single to date.[100][101][102]

On 6 August 2021, KSI released the album's fifth single, "Lose" featuring American rapper Lil Wayne, and was the lead single for the deluxe edition of the album, which released on 27 August.[103] The single peaked at number 18 in the UK Singles Charts and also debuted at number 86 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming KSI's first-ever single to chart on the Billboard Hot 100.[104]

Income and wealth

The Daily Mirror online has regularly speculated over KSI's income and net worth, reporting in 2014 that his income for the year was $1.12 million and that his net worth was $11 million at the end of 2017, rising to an estimated $20 million by 2019.[105] The tabloid also reported that KSI was contracted to earn a minimum amount of $900,000 from his second fight against Logan Paul in 2019.[106][107]

In 2015, KSI's earnings were estimated by Forbes as being over $4.5 million, ranking him as the fifth-highest paid YouTuber in the world.[108]

In 2018, Esquire magazine reported that, according to Social Blade, KSI can make up to £250,000 in advertising revenue from one video and that product endorsements on his social media cost around £75,000.[109] Heavy reported in the same year that KSI was the director of three UK companies with equity totalling £1.7 million ($2.2 million).[110]

Business Insider reported that KSI's amateur boxing match versus Logan Paul in 2018 generated around £8.5 million ($11 million) from pay-per-view revenue alone and a further live gate revenue of over £2.7 million ($3.5 million) from ticket sales.[41] Some estimates calculated the potential earnings from the fight at £30 million to £40 million each,[111] but KSI dismissed these claims, stating that his earnings were "a high amount", but "nowhere near £40 million or £20 million".[42][112]

In an interview with Men's Health, KSI confirmed that he also owns over ten properties "all around England" with a combined worth of over £10 million.[113][114]

In 2020, The Sunday Times estimated KSI's earnings to be £12 million a year and a year later, they believed that his estimated earnings had gone up by another £13 million.[115][116]

In 2021, KSI revealed that he has profited around $5 million from investing his money into cryptocurrencies.[117]

Charity work

In 2015, KSI donated $10,000 to an online charity stream done by YouTuber Castro1021, and participated in the Race Against Slime event, raising money for SpecialEffect, a foundation developing technology to aid people with physical disabilities to play video games.[110] Between 2016 and 2018, KSI and the rest of the Sidemen hosted and participated in three charity football events, raising just shy of £400,000 for various charities, including the Saint's Foundation, Childline, Young Minds and the Charlton Athletic Community Trust.[118] On 8 May 2020, KSI helped out at a food bank to support The Independent's Help the Hungry campaign.[119] KSI donated $10,000 to the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation on 2 June 2020, and $50,000 dollars to various other charities which support black lives.[120][121] In September 2020, KSI made a substantial clothing donation to the Seaview Project.[122] On 18 December 2020, KSI prepared meals to support the Evening Standard's Food for London Now campaign.[123] KSI donated £10,000 to BBC Radio 1's "Lol-a-thon" fundraiser for Comic Relief on 11 March 2021.[124] On 30 March 2021, it was announced that KSI had signed an open letter, written by Lenny Henry, to urge Black British people to take the COVID-19 vaccine.[125]

KSI has also participated in various national television shows for charity, such as Comic Relief,[126] Sport Relief,[127] Children in Need[128] and Stand Up To Cancer.[129][130] KSI featured on the Children in Need 2020 charity single "Stop Crying Your Heart Out".[131]

Professional boxing record

Professional record summary
1 fight 1 win 0 losses
By decision 1 0
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
1 Win 1–0   Logan Paul SD 6 9 Nov 2019   Staples Center, Los Angeles, California, U.S.

Amateur boxing record

Professional record summary
2 fights 1 win 0 losses
By knockout 1 0
Draws 1
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
2 Draw 1–0–1 Logan Paul MD 6 25 Aug 2018 Manchester Arena, Manchester, England
1 Win 1–0 Joe Weller TKO 3 (6), 1:30 3 Feb 2018 Copper Box Arena, London, England

Filmography

Film
Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2016 Laid in America Duncan Lead role [132]
2018 KSI: Can't Lose Himself Documentary [133]
Television
Year Title Role Network Notes Ref.
2013 The Gadget Show Himself Channel 5 Series 17; Episode 5 [134][135]
2013 Friday Download Himself CBBC Series 6; Episode 10 [136]
2016 Rise of the Superstar Vloggers Himself BBC Three Documentary [137]
2017 Saturday Mash-Up! Himself CBBC Episode: Cel Spellman [138]
2020 Top Gear Himself BBC Two Series 28, Episode 5 [139]
2020 Sport Relief 2020 Himself BBC One Television special [140]
2020 The Playlist Himself CBBC Series 4; Episode 8 [141]
2020 Mo Gilligan's All Star Happy Hour Himself Channel 4 Series 1; Episode 3–4 [142]
2020–2021 Celebrity Gogglebox Himself Channel 4 Series 2 (episodes 1–4) and Series 3 (episode 6–8) [143]
2020 Gogglebox Himself Channel 4 Series 16 [144]
2021 The Great Stand Up to Cancer Bake Off Contestant Channel 4 Series 4; episode 4 [145]
2021 Blue Peter Himself CBBC Episode dated 22 July 2021 [146]
2021 The Lateish Show with Mo Gilligan Himself Channel 4 Series 2; episode 2 [147]
Web
Year Title Role Network Notes Ref.
2014 5-A-Side Matt Clark YouTube 5 episodes [148][149]
2014 KSI Demolished Himself Comedy Central UK 5 episodes [150]
2014 The Sidemen Experience Himself Comedy Central UK 5 episodes [151]
2016 Pass the Pad Himself YouTube Presenter; 5 episodes [152]
2018 The Sidemen Show Himself YouTube Premium 7 episodes [153]
2018 Formula E Voltage Himself YouTube Episode: "2018 Ad Diriyah ePrix" [154][155]

Games

Year Game Type Platforms Developer Ref.
2016 KSI Unleashed Action Android, iOS Endemol Shine Group [156]
2018 BoxTuber Sports Android, iOS Viker Limited [157]

Discography

Concert tours

  • Jump Around Tour (2016)[158]
  • The New Age Tour (2019)[159]
  • All Over The Place Tour (2021-2022)[160]

Publications

  • KSI (24 September 2015). KSI: I Am a Bellend. Orion Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1409161233.[161]
  • KSI (29 September 2015). I Am a Tool: How to Be a YouTube Kingpin and Dominate the Internet. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-1473648166.[161]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
2012 Shorty Awards Best in Gaming Himself Nominated [162]
2016 NME Awards Vlogger of the Year Himself Won [163]
2017 Shorty Awards YouTuber of the Year Himself Nominated [164]
British Book Awards Non-Fiction: Lifestyle Book of the Year "Sidemen: The Book" (shared with the Sidemen) Nominated [165]
BBC Radio 1's Teen Choice Awards Best British Vlogger Himself Nominated [166]
2018 Global Awards Social Media Superstar Himself Nominated [167]
2019 Shorty Awards Best YouTube Ensemble Himself (shared with the Sidemen) Nominated [168]
2020 MTV Awards Hottest Summer Superstar Himself Nominated [169]
MOBO Awards Best Media Personality Himself Nominated [170]
Amazon Music UK Best Song "Lighter" (shared with Nathan Dawe) Won [171]
2021 The BRIT Awards Best British Single "Lighter" (shared with Nathan Dawe) Nominated [172]
MTV Awards Hottest Summer Superstar Himself Pending [173]

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External links