Who is KSI?
KSI, whose real name is Olajide Olayinka Williams Olatunji, is one of the most well-known British internet personalities. Since 2009, KSI has produced widely popular gaming and vlog content for his YouTube channel, expanding into a career as a professional rapper, musician, and author in 2015. In 2018, he began training to be an amateur and professional boxer, culminating in high-profile fights against YouTube personality Logan Paul in 2018 and 2019.
To this day, KSI remains one of YouTube’s most prominent renaissance men, churning out top-notch content both as an individual creator and as a member of the Sidemen, a collective of British YouTubers that he co-founded. His name comes from the name of a prominent Halo clan that KSI joined as a teenager, and stands for “Knowledge, Strength, Integrity.” Nowadays, of course, KSI is much more well-known than his eponymous Halo clan, though the clan is still active.
Here's everything you need to know about KSI:
The son of Olajide Olatunji and Olayinka Olatunji, KSI was born and raised in the city of Watford, Hertfordshire, in the UK. Before dropping out of school to focus on his YouTube career, he attended Berkhamsted School in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire. He lived with his parents in Watford as he began his YouTube career, but has since moved and currently lives with fellow Sidemen member Simon Minter in central London.
Take a tour of KSI's house:
KSI’s younger brother, Oladeji Daniel “Deji” Olatunji, is also a YouTube personality. Though the brothers’ relationship has not always been without friction, they occasionally collaborate for content; in KSI’s first boxing match against Logan Paul, the undercard event was a fight between Deji and Paul’s younger brother, Jake Paul.
Although KSI likes to keep his personal life separate from his career as an online personality, he has occasionally opened up about his relationship with his girlfriend, who he met on Tinder. In the past, he has been (slightly) more open about his other relationships, such as a two-year relationship with former YouTuber Seana Cuthbert and a relationship in 2017 with a woman named Lois Sharpe.
KSI made his first YouTube account, “JideJunior,” in 2008, and started his current YouTube channel, under the name “KSIOlajideBT,” on July 24, 2009. At first, he built up a small-but-loyal following by uploading gaming commentary videos related to the FIFA series. Within a few years, he had expanded into vlog-style videos and other video game series, becoming the fifth-most subscribed user on YouTube by the end of 2013. As his YouTube career took off, KSI dropped out of sixth form college—the UK’s equivalent of high school—to pursue content creation full-time when he realized that he was generating more income than one of his teachers.
In October 2013, KSI and a team of four other British YouTubers founded the Sidemen, eventually bringing on two other members to make the group a team of seven.
The Sidemen members are as follows:
- 1. Olajide Olayinka Williams Olatunji AKA "KSI"
- 2. Simon Minter AKA "Miniminter"
- 3. Josh Bradley AKA "Zerkaa"
- 4. Tobi Brown AKA "TBJZL"
- 5. Ethan Payne AKA "Behzinga"
- 6. Vik Barn AKA "Vikkstar123"
- 7. Harry Lewis AKA "W2S"
KSI had dabbled with music since early in his career, producing parody rap songs for his YouTube channel since 2011, but in 2015, he transitioned into a serious music career with his debut song, “Lamborghini,” released on March 23 of that year. After the success of “Lamborghini,” which charted at number 30 on the UK Singles Chart, KSI was signed by Island Records; he released four EPs with the label before parting ways with Island Records in 2017. He has since signed with American independent record label RBC Records, releasing a studio album, Dissimulation, and touring internationally to promote his music.
KSI’s most recent single, “Really Love,” which features Craig David and Digital Farm Animals, was released on October 23, 2020. It’s the first single from his upcoming studio album, which will be released in 2021.
|Keep Up||January 8, 2016||Island|
|Jump Around||October 28, 2016||Island|
|Space||June 30, 2017||Self-released|
|Disstracktions||September 29, 2017||Island|
|Dissimulaton||May 22, 2020||RBC, BMG|
|New Age (with Randolph)||April 12, 2019||Self-released|
|SINGLES (AS LEAD ARTIST)|
|"Lamborghini" featuring P Money||2015||Non-album single|
|"Keep Up" featuring Jme||2015||Keep Up|
|"Goes Off" featuring Mista Silva||2016||Jump Around|
|"Friends with Benefits" with MNDM||2016||Jump Around|
|"Jump Around" featuring Waka Flocka Flame||2016||Jump Around|
|"Uncontrollable" featuring Big Zuu||2018||Non-album single|
|"On Point"||2018||Non-album single|
|"Beerus" with Randolph||2018||New Age|
|"Red Alert" with Randolph||2019||New Age|
|"Down Like That" featuring Rick Ross, Lil Baby, and S-X||2019||Dissimulation|
|"Wake Up Call" featuring Trippie Redd||2020||Dissimulation|
|"Poppin" featuring Lil Pump and Smokepurpp||2020||Dissimulation|
|"Houdini" featuring Swarmz and Tion Wayne||2020||Dissimulation|
|"Cap" featuring Offset||2020||Dissimulation|
|"Killa Killa" featuring Aiyana-Lee||2020||Dissimulation|
|"Really Love" featuring Craig David and Digital Farm Animals||2020||TBA|
KSI vs. Joe Weller
KSI’s boxing career began in February 2018, when he faced YouTuber Joe Weller in a widely publicized amateur boxing match sparked by repeated smack-talk between Weller and the Sidemen in late 2017. Although KSI won the fight by technical knockout in the third round, he praised Weller’s toughness and used the fight as a platform to challenge prominent American YouTuber Logan Paul to a boxing match. Later that month, Paul accepted KSI’s challenge, setting the stage for KSI’s next fight.
KSI vs. Logan Paul
In August 2018, the boxing match between Logan Paul and KSI resulted in a majority draw, with two judges scoring the fight even and the third giving a slight edge to KSI. Though the fight was once again an amateur match, some commentators called it the largest event in YouTube history, and it was watched by over 2.25 million viewers live.
KSI vs. Logan Paul 2
Unsatisfied by the unclear outcome of their first fight, KSI and Logan Paul scheduled a rematch for November 2019, this time a professional fight without any protective headgear and with undercard matches featuring professional boxers. Following six rounds of spirited fighting, KSI was declared the winner by split decision, with two judges scoring the fight for KSI and only one for Logan Paul. Satisfied with his victory, KSI declared that he was “on to the next thing” after the fight; at the moment, his boxing career appears to be on hold—but certainly not over.
Since gaining fame as a YouTuber, KSI has dabbled in acting in several movies and television shows. In 2014, he starred in 5-A-Side, a YouTube comedy web series about a group of soccer players. His first starring role in a non-web film came in 2016, when he starred as a British foreign exchange student in America in the movie Laid in America. KSI has also appeared as himself in a number of web series, documentaries, and TV shows.
|2014||5-A-Side||Matt Clark||YouTube||5 episodes|
|2014||KSI Demolished||Himself||Comedy Central UK||5 episodes|
|2014||The Sidemen Experience||Himself||Comedy Central UK||5 episodes|
|2016||Pass The Pad||Himself||YouTube||Presenter, 5 episodes|
|2018||The Sidemen Show||Himself||YouTube Premium||7 episodes|
|2018||Formula E Voltage||Himself||YouTube||Episode: "2018 Ad Diriyah ePrix"|
|2016||Laid in America||Duncan||Lead role|
|2018||KSI: Can't Lose||Himself||Documentary|
|2019||KSI: Can't Lose – Extended Cut||Himself||Documentary|
|2013||The Gadget Show||Himself||Channel 5||Series 17, Episode 5|
|2013||Friday Download||Himself||CBBC||Series 6, Episode 10|
|2016||Rise of the Superstar Vloggers||Himself||BBC Three||Documentary|
|2017||Saturday Mash-Up!||Himself||CBBC||Episode: Cel Spellman|
|2020||Top Gear||Himself||BBC Two||Series 28, Episode 5|
|2020||Sport Relief 2020||Himself||BBC One||Television special|
|2020||The Playlist||Himself||CBBC||Series 4, Episode 8|
|2020||Mo Gilligan's All Star Happy Hour||Himself||Channel 4||Series 1, Episode 3–4|
|2020||Celebrity Gogglebox||Himself||Channel 4||Series 2, Episodes 1–4|
|2020||Gogglebox||Himself||Channel 4||Series 16, Celebrity Special for SU2C|
Yes, the renaissance man KSI wrote a book that was published in 2015 and co-authored a book with the Sidemen, published in 2016:
|2015||KSI: I Am a Bellend (titled I Am a Tool in America)||Orion Publishing Group|
|2015||I Am a Tool: How to Be a YouTube Kingpin and Dominate the Internet||HarperCollins|
|2016||Sidemen: The Book||Coronet Books|
Sponsors and Partners
KSI is sponsored by a number of well-known brands, including:
KSI is also partnered with Gymshark, a popular UK-based fitness apparel and accessories brand.
All official KSI merchandise can be purchased through the online shop of KSI’s YouTuber collective, Sidemen Clothing. Although KSI doesn’t have a specific merchandise shop geared towards his work as an individual YouTuber, the Sidemen shop features plenty of KSI-branded merch, such as this eye-grabbing KSI poster and this #TeamKSI bandana.
KSI has appeared as himself in two mobile games for Android and iOS:
- 1. KSI Unleashed, an action-packed and fantasy-themed adventure game released in 2016.
- 2. BoxTuber, a sports mobile game based on the idea of boxing YouTube stars — such as KSI, The SDNM, and True Geordie — released in 2018.
Awards and Nominations
KSI has won and been nominated for various awards throughout his career.
Check out the full list in the table below:
|AWARDS AND NOMINATIONS
|2016||NME Awards||Vlogger of the Year||KSI||Won|
|2017||British Book Awards||Non-Fiction: Lifestyle Book of the Year||KSI and The Sidemen||Nominated|
|2017||BBC Radio 1's Teen Choice Awards||Best British Vlogger||KSI||Nominated|
|2018||Global Awards||Social Media Superstar||KSI||Nominated|
|2019||Shorty Awards||Best YouTube Ensemble||KSI and The Sidemen||Nominated|
|2020||MTV Awards||Hottest Summer Superstar||KSI||Nominated|
KSI has supported a variety of charitable and philanthropic causes and organizations throughout his career, with a tendency to focus on British charities. Through the Sidemen, KSI has organized several charity soccer games, raising over £375,000 across three games in 2016, 2017, and 2018 for the Saints Foundation, Childline, Charlton Athletic Community Trust, and Young Minds. KSI has also dedicated the advertisement proceeds from certain videos towards specific charitable causes; for example, in 2019, he donated all ad revenue from a video titled “Ending it all” to suicide-prevention charities.
On November 10, 2020, KSI shared that he’s honored and happy to be a part of the single “Stop Crying Your Heart Out.” The proceeds from that single will be donated to BBC Children in Need.
If you haven’t already, please buy “Crying Your Heart Out” on iTunes. All the money will be going to the children in need charity. Let’s try and get it to number 1 to raise as much awareness as possible https://t.co/uWVTp8ogQQ— KSI (@KSI) November 17, 2020
KSI is also generous with his friends and loved ones: after he became YouTube famous, he paid off his parents’ house.
Trivia and Fun Facts
- Real Name: Olajide Olayinka Williams Olatunji
- Aliases: KSI, KSIOlajideBT, and JJ
- Birthday: June 19, 1993
- Astrological Sign: Gemini
- Age: 27
- Height: 6’ 0”
- Hometown: Watford, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
- Among his family and friends, KSI goes by JJ. His parents are known as Jide and Yinka.
- Despite his outgoing YouTuber persona, KSI was an introvert as a child and only began to open up once he started uploading videos on YouTube.
- Over 500,000 people have illegally downloaded Laid in America, the 2016 film in which KSI stars alongside fellow YouTube star Caspar Lee.
- KSI is the second-most-subscribed British YouTuber after DanTDM.
- KSI had the words “Knowledge, Strength, Integrity” tattooed on his body in 2017.
- KSI was the first person of color to receive YouTube’s Diamond Play Button for reaching 10,000,000 subscribers.
- In his “Googling Myself” video, KSI shared that he’s agnostic—he neither believes nor disbelieves in the existence of a higher power.
- KSI is of Nigerian heritage, although he was born and raised in the UK and considers himself British.
- KSI’s favorite sports team is Arsenal F.C.
- KSI is allergic to peanuts.
Who is KSI?
KSI, also known as Olajide Olayinka Williams Olatunji, is a world-renowned British YouTuber, rapper, boxer,actor, and ambassador for G FUEL, The Official Energy Drink of Esports®.
What does KSI mean?
KSI stands for “Knowledge, Strength, Integrity,” and originally came from the name of a well-known Halo clan.
What is KSI’s real name?
KSI’s real name is Olajide Olayinka Williams Olatunji, but he often goes by JJ.
How old is KSI?
Born on June 19, 1993, KSI is 27 years old.
How tall is KSI?
KSI is six feet tall.
How much does KSI weigh?
Before his second boxing match against Logan Paul, KSI weighed in at 193.2 pounds.
Why is KSI called JJ?
JJ is a shortened version of KSI’s real name, which is relatively long and might be difficult for some people to remember.
Where was KSI born?
KSI was born and raised in Watford, Hertfordshire, in the United Kingdom.
Where is KSI from?
KSI was born and raised in the United Kingdom. His parents are of Nigerian heritage.
Where does KSI live?
KSI lives in central London.
How many subscribers does KSI have?
KSI has over 22 million YouTube subscribers, over 8.7 million Instagram followers, over 6.2 million Twitter followers, and over 3.5 million Facebook followers.
Why did KSI and Joe Weller fight?
KSI and Joe Weller scheduled their boxing match after friction between Weller and KSI’s YouTube collective, the Sidemen, led to beef between the two YouTubers.
Who won, KSI or Joe Weller?
KSI won his boxing match against Joe Weller by technical knockout in the third round.
How do I watch KSI vs. Joe Weller for free?
The full boxing match between KSI and Joe Weller is available on KSI’s YouTube channel.
Who won KSI vs. Logan Paul?
The first fight between KSI and Logan Paul was ruled a draw.
How do I watch KSI vs. Logan Paul for free?
The entirety of KSI’s first boxing match against Logan Paul is available for free on DAZN Boxing’s YouTube channel.
Who won KSI vs. Logan Paul 2?
KSI won his second fight against Logan Paul, with two of the three judges ruling the fight in his favor.
How do I watch KSI vs. Logan Paul 2 for free?
The full second fight between KSI and Logan Paul is available for free on the DAZN YouTube channel.
Why did KSI leave the Sidemen?
KSI didn’t actually leave the Sidemen; he simply pretended to leave during a “partially real” feud within the group in 2017. As of the time of this article’s writing, KSI is still a member of the Sidemen.
Social Media Profiles
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KSIOlajidebt
- Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/ksiolajidebt
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/KSI
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ksi/
- Snapchat: therealksi
This article was written by Alexander Lee, an editor, freelance writer, and esports enthusiast based in New York City. Follow him on Twitter @alexleewastaken.