Blackpool Illuminations Switch On 2021: Who is KSI? Everything you need to know about the YouTube sensation turned musical giant

Just last month..... KSI released 'Holiday' his seventh successive UK top 10, his highest chart position to date and a track which is billed to be 2021's summer anthem.

Friday, 23rd July 2021, 1:03 pm
Updated Friday, 23rd July 2021, 1:04 pm
Blackpool Illuminations Switch On performer KSI

The Watford born YouTube sensation, who has tens of millions of followers across his social platforms and achieved huge success with his 2020 album 'Dissimulation' has racked up a string of hits and colossal fan base in just 15 months.

In September he will perform for the first time in Blackpool after been invited to perform at one of the resort's most prestigious events in the calendar - the annual Illuminations Switch On concert at Blackpool Tower.

He released latest record All Over the Place, on July 16, which NME writer Kyann-Sian Williams said 'showed promise.' His 2021 UK tour is officially a sell-out.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

But who is this British breakthrough artist and how did he make his name?

KSI is on a mission to takeover planet pop with the release of his highly anticipated sophomore album, All Over The Place. It features collaborations with some of the hottest artists right now including Anne-Marie, Craig David, YUNGBLUD, and Polo G.

He says of the album: "The singing has improved. The writing has improved. The beats have more layers to them, I’m a lot more experimental, I’m way more comfortable on the mic. This album reflects a lot of hard work and passion combined and I’m really proud to be releasing it.”

It is a far cry from the gaming commentary world on YouTube where KSI, real name Olajide ‘JJ’ Olatunji first set up a channel in 2009. His videos showed clips of him playing video game FIFA. He continued to produce gaming videos, although evolved into more vlog-style content.

Now at the age of 28, KSI, he has created an astonishing following with 34 million subscribers, with a staggering six billion views.

He kept his portfolio mostly to social media before breaking out into music. All Over The Place is his third album -out-selling the rest of the top five artists combined.

His debut song "Lamborghini" reached number 30 on the UK singles chart. His debut EP "Keep Up" went to number one on the UK R&B Albums Chart.

As well as the Switch On concert he has a string of festival dates and sold-out UK shows this summer, and is set to headline a sold-out show at the SSE Arena at Wembley in February.

KSI stands for Knowledge, Strength, Integrity. He has the word "Knowledge" tattooed across his chest, and has "Strength" and "Integrity" tattooed on each of his arms.

The acronym is part of his overall alias "KSIOlajideBT" which includes a combination of his name and BT, which stands for British Telecom.

His net worth is estimated around £16million.

This year’s Blackpool Illuminations will run from Friday 3 September to Monday 3 January, 2022.