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Ryan Higa

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Ryan Higa
Ryan Higa by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Higa at VidCon in June 2012
Personal information
Born (1990-06-06) June 6, 1990 (age 30)
ResidenceLas Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
OccupationComedian, YouTuber, actor
YouTube information
Created by
  • Ryan Higa
  • Sean Fujiyoshi
  • Tim Enos
  • Tarynn Nago
Years active2006–present
Subscribers21.4 million (nigahiga)
4.94 million (HigaTV)
Total views4.26 billion (nigahiga)
862.1 million (HigaTV)
Associated acts
YouTube Silver Play Button 2.svg 100,000 subscribers 2007 (nigahiga)
2011 (HigaTV)
YouTube Gold Play Button 2.svg 1,000,000 subscribers 2009 (nigahiga)
2013 (HigaTV)
YouTube Diamond Play Button.svg 10,000,000 subscribers 2013 (nigahiga)
Twitch information
Years active2020–present
Total views1.26 million

Updated: June 23, 2020

Ryan Higa (born June 6, 1990), also known as nigahiga (/ˈnɡəhɡə/), is an American comedian, internet personality, musician, and actor. He is known for his comedy videos on YouTube. His YouTube channel, nigahiga, was the most subscribed channel on YouTube for 677 consecutive days from 2009–2011.[1][2]

Higa was nominated for "Best Video Blogger" at the 6th Shorty Awards.[3]

Early life

Ryan Higa was born in Hilo, Hawaii, on June 6, 1990.[4] He is of Okinawan descent,[5] and has an older brother named Kyle.[6] In his youth, Higa competed in judo and holds a black belt rank.[7][8] He wrestled at Waiakea High School, where he graduated in 2008.[9][10]

Higa studied nuclear medicine at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas but later dropped out to create online videos.[11]

YouTube career

Higa and Sean Fujiyoshi began posting YouTube videos of themselves lip syncing to songs in mid-2006 while attending Waiakea High School.[12] They quickly expanded beyond songs, with a variety of other comedic pieces. Occasional guest appearances were made by Tim Enos, Ryan Villaruel, Kyle Chun, and Tarynn Nago.[13]

On Christmas Eve of 2008, Higa and Fujiyoshi's two most popular videos, How To Be Gangster and How To Be Emo, were removed due to copyright violations.[14] On January 21, 2009, the nigahiga account was temporarily suspended and was required to remove more copyrighted videos. Because of this, nigahiga's lip syncing videos were all removed (with the exception of You're Beautiful, which was audio swapped),[15] along with most of his other videos that included copyrighted music. Since then, Higa started composing the music himself. How to be Gangster and How to be Emo were put back on nigahiga's channel in late August 2009, only to be removed a few days later, along with How to be Ninja and How to be Nerd. In Spring 2010, How to be Ninja, How to be Gangster and How to be Emo were made public once more.[16]

Ninja Melk, a 26-minute short film about ninjas, was released in August 2009. The plot revolves around a ninja master named Master Ching Ching sending his student Lapchung (played by Bryson Murata) to find a replacement, finding Higa and Fujiyoshi to catch the evil Bokchoy (Tim Enos) and his henchwoman, Gina (Tarynn Nago).[17]

An independent 35-minute film he created with Wong Fu Productions called Agents of Secret Stuff was uploaded on the nigahiga channel on November 24, 2010. It features some other popular YouTube users as well as actors such as Aki Aleong. The film follows a teenage A.S.S. (Agent of Secret Stuff) (Higa) who goes undercover as a high school student to protect Taylor (Arden Cho) from the S.I.N.S. (Society Involving Not-So-Good Stuff). It included guest appearances from Ian and Anthony of Smosh, D-Trix, KassemG and Hiimrawn.

When Higa moved to Las Vegas to attend college, most of the nigahiga videos were solo efforts, usually featuring collaborations with other YouTube users. Since 2012, Higa has put together a production company, Ryan Higa Production Company (RHPC), which included Sean Fujiyoshi, that works together to make content for the nigahiga channel.[18] In 2015, Higa's production company was based in a studio in Henderson, Nevada.[10]

In 2016, Higa and other YouTubers and friends created the parody K-pop group Boys Generally Asian. In mid-2018, Fujiyoshi left the group as he was moving out of the area, specifically to Sacramento, California to live with his current girlfriend and to pursue his degree in Engineering.[19]


Ryan Higa Meet-and-Greet in Hong Kong YouTube Festival

The nigahiga YouTube channel was created on July 20, 2006, by Higa, Fujiyoshi, Enos, and Nago (known collectively as "The Yabo Crew"). By December 21, 2010, it had reached 3 million subscribers, the first channel to do so.[20] According to Higa,[21] his channel name is a combination of "Niga" (にが) which means "rant" in Japanese, and his Okinawan last name, "Higa".[22]

In 2011, he created a second channel, under the name HigaTV, where he posts video blogs and behind the scenes videos.[23]

In 2012, Higa helped form the YOMYOMF Network, which hosts the online video-making talent competition, Internet Icon, of which he served alongside Christine Lakin and Timothy DeLaGhetto as main judges.[24]

Boys Generally Asian

In 2016, Ryan Higa created a K-pop band with David Choi, Phillip Wang, Jun Sung Ahn and Justin Chon. It was called BgA, standing for Boys Generally Asian, deliberately inspired by the all-female band Girls Generation. Their first song was called "Dong Saya Dae", which currently has over 16 million views on YouTube.[25] The song was conceived as a general parody of all K-pop songs and featured joke lyrics, but unexpectedly peaked at no. 2 on the official iTunes K-pop charts.[26] In 2017, BgA released their second song "Who's It Gonna Be",[27] a more serious song than the first, though with the same basis of being a parody. This song went one better than the first, reaching no. 1 on the K-pop charts.[28]

Film and television

In 2008, Los Angeles based producer Richard Van Vleet offered to help them create their first feature-length film. The resulting film, Ryan and Sean's Not So Excellent Adventure, was directed by Richard Van Vleet and released on November 14, 2008.[29] It was shown in sold out theaters in Hawaii and California.[30] The DVD was released on July 14, 2009, in the United States.[31] The film is about a down on his luck movie producer, played by Michael Buckley, who is seeking out famous celebrities in order to make a hit movie in 30 days or risk being fired. He chooses Higa and Fujiyoshi after discovering the popularity of their YouTube videos. He invites them to Hollywood to make a movie. They accept the offer, and run into some amusing situations on the way.[32]

Higa has also guest-starred on an episode of Supah Ninjas, playing DJ Elephant Head, a master plotter who uses his hypnotizing electronic music to make people fall asleep to commit robberies.

He appeared in the 2016 horror film Tell Me How I Die.[33]

Business ventures

Victorious Inc. released the "TeeHee" app in April 2015. It was a community hub for fans of Ryan Higa and was monetized through "pre-roll ads, branded content, e-commerce, and in-app purchases." The service was shut down in April 2017.[34][35]

Higa published his memoir, Ryan Higa's How to Write Good, in 2017.[36]

Higa co-founded Ninja Melk, LLC in 2016 with Kathleen Hahn and Kyle Schroeder. Their titular energy drink launched in May 2019.[37] The drink took three years to develop and is named after Higa's short film of the same name.[38] Higa uploaded a stop motion short film onto the nigahiga YouTube channel on October 19, 2019 to promote the drink.[39]

Personal life

Higa endorsed Andrew Yang for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president.[40] He identifies as an agnostic.[41] He is diagnosed with ADHD.[42]



Title Year Album
"I'm Hardcore"
(featuring David Choi and JR Aquino)[43]
2011 Non-album single
(featuring David Choi)
2015 Non-album single
"Millennial Love"
(featuring Kina Grannis)
2017 Non-album single
(featuring David Choi)
2019 Non-album single
"8 Grapes"
(featuring David Choi)
2018 Non-album single


  1. ^ "Ryan Higa - The Shorty Awards". Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  2. ^ VanDeGraph (October 21, 2016). "The Top Youtubers Throughout History". VanDeGraph. Retrieved February 1, 2020.
  3. ^ "Ryan Higa - The Shorty Awards". Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  4. ^ "HigaTV.COM About". HigaTV Productions. Archived from the original on April 3, 2014. Retrieved December 29, 2011.
  5. ^ @TheRealRyanHiga (August 14, 2010). "@hokutokonishi ahhh i'm okinawan and i've never been there.... lucky!" (Tweet). Retrieved January 8, 2016 – via Twitter.
  6. ^ Life Hacks! (Dear Ryan). nigahiga. YouTube. May 8, 2015. Retrieved April 29, 2017.
  7. ^ Ko, Nalea J. (September 16, 2009). "Ryan Higa Snatches No.1 Spot on YouTube". New America Media. Retrieved July 1, 2013.
  8. ^ "HHSAA JUDO: 2007 HHSAA Judo State Championships". The Hawaii High School Athletic Association. May 19, 2007. Retrieved July 1, 2013.
  9. ^ "State Wrestling Results". Honolulu Advertiser. March 2, 2008. Retrieved July 1, 2013.
  10. ^ a b Stewart, Colin (May 18, 2015). "Hilo's prince of YouTube continues to soar". West Hawaii Today. Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  11. ^ Wilcox, Leslie (January 3, 2012). "LONG STORY SHORT WITH LESLIE WILCOX Ryan Higa | PBS Hawai'i". PBS Hawai'i. Retrieved February 1, 2020.
  12. ^ "Hilo teens become a Web video sensation". The Honolulu Advertiser. July 27, 2008. Retrieved August 21, 2009.
  13. ^ " | Features | /2008/01/11/". January 11, 2008. Retrieved July 13, 2010.
  14. ^ Higa, Ryan (February 23, 2009). "Copyrighted". YouTube. Retrieved December 11, 2009.
  15. ^ Higa, Ryan (June 27, 2008). "You're Beautiful". YouTube. Retrieved November 29, 2009.
  16. ^ Higa, Ryan. "Uploads". YouTube. Retrieved October 21, 2012.
  17. ^ Higa, Ryan; Fujiyoshi, Sean (August 24, 2009). "Ninja Melk". Video. YouTube. Retrieved November 29, 2009.
  18. ^ Katz, S.D. (April 10, 2019). "YouTube Star Ryan Higa Shows the Way to Maintain Independence With DIY Studio". Variety. Retrieved February 1, 2020.
  19. ^ nigahiga (September 1, 2018), Goodbye Sean..., retrieved June 7, 2019
  20. ^ Ryan Higa Hits 3 Million YouTube Subscribers
  21. ^ Tko, Tonya (November 30, 2008). "NigaHiga Explains Name, Happy Slip, Kev Jumba & TonyaTko -Amazing Asians vol 1". YouTube. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
  22. ^ Lunn, Emma (December 1, 2014). "Jenna Marbles, Holasoygerman, Smosh and Nigahiga: The YouTube comedians earning millions". Yahoo! UK & Ireland Finance. Archived from the original on May 18, 2015. Retrieved April 30, 2015.
  23. ^ "HigaTV". YouTube. Retrieved October 3, 2016.
  24. ^ Jeff Sneider (May 28, 2012). "'Internet Icon' aims for virality". Variety. Retrieved December 10, 2012.
  25. ^ "BgA - Dong Saya Dae (똥싸야돼) [Official Music Video]". YouTube. May 13, 2016. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
  26. ^ nigahiga, June 3, 2016
  27. ^
  28. ^ Ryan Higa and Friends Create K-Pop Group as a Joke, Gets #1 Hit on K-Pop Charts, March 27, 2017
  29. ^ "Ryan and Sean's Not So Excellent Adventure". Retrieved November 15, 2009.
  30. ^ Associated Press. "YouTube was very good to this pair". Daily Herald. Archived from the original on July 4, 2009. Retrieved September 19, 2010.
  31. ^ "Ryan and Sean's Not So Excellent Adventure (2008)". Retrieved November 15, 2009.
  32. ^ "Ryan and Sean's Not So Excellent Adventure". Archived from the original on September 10, 2009. Retrieved November 15, 2009.
  33. ^ "Ryan Higa". Retrieved June 9, 2018.
  34. ^ Gutelle, Sam (April 23, 2015). "Victorious Officially Debuts Its First Apps With YouTube Stars Ryan Higa, The Young Turks". Tubefilter. Retrieved February 1, 2020.
  35. ^ "Thank you Teehee App Users! | Higa TV Productions LLC". April 16, 2017. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
  36. ^ Higa, Ryan (May 30, 2017). Ryan Higa's How to Write Good. Hachette Children's Group. ISBN 978-1-5102-0142-2.
  37. ^ Melk, Ninja (May 4, 2019). "We are delighted to officially unveil Ninja Melk, a unique and refreshing energy drink. Inspired by YouTube phenom Ryan Higa's vision and passion, we bring you the best in quality, ingredients and taste. Now available at @TheRealRyanHiga". @ninjamelk. Retrieved 2020-01-25. External link in |title= (help)
  38. ^ Fennimore, Jack (May 31, 2019). "Ninja Melk: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  39. ^ Stop-Motion Ninja Melk Commercial!, retrieved January 25, 2020
  40. ^ Ryan Higa [@TheRealRyanHiga] (September 15, 2019). "I've actually donated for the first time ever. New podcast with @AndrewYangVFA is up! Check it out on offthepillpodcast! #yanggang" (Tweet). Retrieved September 16, 2019 – via Twitter.
  41. ^ "Nigahiga". YouTube. Retrieved October 8, 2019.
  42. ^ Higa, Ryan (April 19, 2014). How to Know If You Have ADHD (YouTube). nigahiga.
  43. ^ "I'm Hardcore". YouTube. January 25, 2011. Retrieved November 8, 2019.

External links