KSI: His Rise to Success

Dhir Patel, Editor in Chief

How do you think celebrities start before they rise to fame? 

While many live a normal life before they become well known in the world at what they do, KSI found his fame in a different way as he is very talented with the many careers that he pursues.

KSI’s real name is Olajide Olatunji, but people mostly refer to him as JJ or his internet name KSI, which stands for knowledge, strength, and integrity. He was born in the year 1993 in the United Kingdom, making him 29 years old today. Olatunji has a variety of skills, so let’s look at his different careers throughout his life and see how he came to be a celebrity.

KSI first started on the entertainment platform YouTube in 2009. This is where he created the name everyone knows him by today. The videos that he usually made would either be about gaming, showcasing games like FIFA, GTA V, and Call of Duty, as well as making funny skits with his friends and family at times. KSI’s unique humor was what made him very successful, as the people watching found his videos entertaining and enjoyable. He started to gain more and more subscribers on his YouTube, as well as followers on his other social media accounts. In October 2013, after four years of making videos, KSI founded the Sidemen with six other YouTubers. This is a YouTube group including KSI, Vikkstar123, Miniminter, W2S, Zerkaa, Behzinga, and TBJZL. 

All of these YouTubers met each other online, during events, and some in school, but they all then started to make videos together. They created their own merchandise company and had a growing fanbase watching the video games they played together. All the seven members of the Sidemen have different backgrounds as well, making it a very diverse group. Today, the Sidemen have four channels, with many individual channels for each member. They created their own food chain called Sides, their own podcast called Sidecast, a membership group for their fans called Side+, while their clothing brand, Sidemen Clothing, is still releasing new designs for clothing and accessories. Every Sunday, fans watch their weekly “Sidemen Sunday” where they make a variety of different videos every week. It is clear to see how the Sidemen have risen to fame, and for KSI, this group of friends is an important and vital part of his career on YouTube.

KSI had also started making music, most of which was seen through his YouTube channel. In 2015, KSI released Lamborghini, his debut single which features P Money, a British grime MC. This is currently Olatunji’s most viewed and most popular YouTube music video, reaching 125 million views and 2.4 million likes. While it was KSI’s first proper song, he has released many songs before this, which were mostly for fun and entertainment such as GET HYPER and KEEP UP. But this would not be the end of his music career, as KSI then decided to take making music more seriously after Creature, a single released in 2017. 

Many of the songs released during this time by Olatunji were considered okay, but that changed after his first proper album, New Age in 2019 with Randolph, who is JJ’s friend and a British rapper. This album included songs with features from JME, Quadeca, and Talia Mar. In 2020, KSI then released Dissimulation, his second album that featured Lil Pump, Smokepurpp, Trippie Redd, Offset, Lil Baby, etc. Most recently, in 2021, KSI released All Over The Place, an album that features Future, 21 Savage, Polo G, Anne Marie, Craig David, Lil Durk, Lil Wayne, etc. Many think that the features that Olatunji has helped his songs get to the charts, which is somewhat true, but it is obvious that KSI has grown a lot on perfecting his craft and making music. He has explored many different musical genres including pop, hip hop, grime, trap, and garage. KSI is working on his singing ability as well, and many fans appreciate and enjoy listening to the many songs he puts out. KSI has 4.4 million listeners on Spotify, has numerous charting songs on the Top 10’s, and has also gone platinum on YouTube with his song Lighter with Nathan Dawe.

Boxing is another skill KSI has picked up through YouTube. His first boxing match debut was against British YouTuber, Joe Weller. This first started through issues they had with each other as they were friends at one point, but after Olatunji won the fight, he did not  stop boxing then. At the end of this boxing match, KSI called out Logan Paul, who later responded and it eventually led to their boxing match. The match ended in a draw, but many fans were still eager to see who would win, which led to their second match. In the end, in a split decision, KSI from the United Kingdom had won the match. Today, however, both of these opponents respect each other and even have a drink, called PRIME, that they made and produced together. Since his first fight with Weller, Olatunji has remained undefeated. He had beaten Swarmz and Pineda, who he knocked out on the same day, and Faze Temperrr most recently, who he also knocked out on Saturday, January 14, 2023. His boxing career is not stopping here as he plans to continue boxing and improve on his technique and abilities when fighting different people. 

It is no puzzle to see how successful KSI has become. The support of his friends and family, his motivation to achieve different goals, and his inspiration to try different things has given him the opportunity to rise to fame. He is a multi-talented celebrity and it is clear to see he will continue to achieve many different feats in the future.