KSI: the rise of a modern icon

Issue 1548

KSI: the rise of a modern icon

KSI is easy to define but impossible to categorise. Olajide Olatunji – or JJ – was 15 when he registered an account on YouTube and started uploading videos of himself playing video games, using three letters as his online alter ego, standing for Knowledge, Strength and Integrity.

This kickstarted a career that has turned KSI, now 29, into an all-conquering multimedia mogul. He has tens of millions of followers across social media. He’s a rapper who can sell out arenas, a boxer who can sell out those same arenas. He’s the head of a business empire that encompasses restaurants and impossible-to-source soft drinks.

This week, KSI talks exclusively to The Big Issue about being an influencer that wants to use his influence for good.

Also inside

  • Peter Lantos was only five when taken to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1944. As one of the last survivors of the Holocaust he explains how he feels it’s his responsibility to share his story with today’s children.
  • Paul Dano has built a screen career on bringing misfits to life. So how did he find working on mainstream maestro Steven Spielberg’s highly personal new movie The Fabelmans?
  • The Great Pottery Throw Down’s Keith Brymer Jones gets emotional in a Letter To My Younger Self
  • Radiohead’s Philip Selway, director Joe Cornish and a love letter to Gerard Butler – plus much more!

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