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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 28)
Hilo, Hawaii, U.S.
ResidenceLas Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
OccupationComedian, YouTuber, actor
Partner(s)Arden Cho (2015–present)
YouTube information
Created by
  • Ryan Higa
  • Sean Fujiyoshi
  • Tim Enos
  • Tarynn Nago
Years active2006–present
Associated actsWong Fu Productions, Smosh, Traphik, Jenna Marbles, D-trix, David Choi, Andrew Garcia, Lilly Singh
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)
Subscriber and view counts updated as of November 22, 2018.

Ryan Higa (born June 6, 1990), also known by his YouTube username nigahiga (/ˈnɡəhɡə/), is an American comedian, YouTuber, and actor. He is known for his comedy videos on YouTube. Higa's YouTube channel, nigahiga, was the most subscribed channel on YouTube for 677 consecutive days from 2009–2011, the second longest span of time behind PewDiePie. He was also the most subscribed for twelve days in 2008.[1]

Early life

Higa is of Japanese descent,[2] specifically from Okinawa.[3] He was born in Hilo, Hawaii on June 6, 1990,[4] and has an older brother named Kyle.[5] Growing up, Higa competed in judo and holds a black belt rank.[6][7] He wrestled at Waiakea High School, where he graduated in 2008.[8][9]

YouTube career

Higa and Sean Fujiyoshi began posting YouTube videos of themselves lip syncing to songs in mid-2006 while attending Waiakea High School.[10] 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.[11]

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.[12] 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),[13] 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.[14]

After Higa moved to Las Vegas to study nuclear medicine[15] at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas,[16] 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.[17] In 2016, Higa and other YouTubers and friends created the parody K-pop group Boys Generally Asian. In mid-2018, Fujiyoshi decided to leave the group to pursue other interests.


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 13 million views on YouTube.[18] The song was conceived as a general parody of all K-pop songs and featured joke lyrics, but despite this, the song unexpectedly peaked at no. 2 on the official K-pop charts for iTunes.[19] In 2017, BgA released their second song "Who's It Gonna Be",[20] a more serious song than the first, though with the same basis of being a parody. This song went one better than the previous one, reaching no. 1 on the K-pop charts.[21]


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.[22] According to Higa,[23] his channel name is a combination of "Niga", which means "rant" in Japanese, and his last name, "Higa".[24]

In 2011, he created a second channel, under the name HigaTV, where he posts video blogs and behind the scenes videos.[17]

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.[25]

Film career

In 2008, Los Angeles 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.[26] It was shown in sold out theaters in Hawaii and California.[27] The DVD was released on July 14, 2009, in the United States.[28]

Ryan and Sean's Not So Excellent Adventure 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.[29]

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 (played by Tim Enos) and his henchwoman, Gina (played by Tarynn Nago).[30]

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. Agents of Secret Stuff is about a teenage A.S.S. (Agent of Secret Stuff) (Higa) who is sent undercover to a high school to protect one of the students, a girl named Taylor (Arden Cho) from the A.S.S.'s enemy, 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. 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.[31]

Personal life

Higa has been in a relationship with American actress Arden Cho since 2015.[32]



Title Year Album
"I'm Hardcore"
(featuring David Choi and JR Aquino)[33]
2011 Non-album single
(featuring David Choi)
2015 Non-album single
"Millennial Love"
(featuring Kina Grannis)
2017 Non-album single


  1. ^ VanDeGraph (2016-10-21). "The Top Youtubers Throughout History". VanDeGraph. Retrieved 2019-01-31.
  2. ^ Considine, Austin (July 29, 2011). "For Asian-American Stars, Many Web Fans". The New York Times. Retrieved April 30, 2015.
  3. ^ Higa, Ryan (August 14, 2010). "Tweet 21137901638". Twitter. Retrieved January 8, 2016.
  4. ^ " About". HigaTv Productions. Archived from the original on December 26, 2011. Retrieved December 29, 2011.
  5. ^ nigahiga (2015-05-08), Life Hacks! (Dear Ryan), retrieved 2017-04-29
  6. ^ Ko, Nalea J. (September 16, 2009). "Ryan Higa Snatches No.1 Spot on YouTube". New America Media. Retrieved July 1, 2013.
  7. ^ "HHSAA JUDO: 2007 HHSAA Judo State Championships". The Hawaii High School Athletic Association. May 19, 2007. Retrieved July 1, 2013.
  8. ^ "Ryan Higa". NNDB. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
  9. ^ "State Wrestling Results". Honolulu Advertiser. March 2, 2008. Retrieved July 1, 2013.
  10. ^ "Hilo teens become a Web video sensation". The Honolulu Advertiser. July 27, 2008. Retrieved August 21, 2009.
  11. ^ " | Features | /2008/01/11/". January 11, 2008. Retrieved July 13, 2010.
  12. ^ Higa, Ryan (February 23, 2009). "Copyrighted". YouTube. Retrieved December 11, 2009.
  13. ^ Higa, Ryan (June 27, 2008). "You're Beautiful". YouTube. Retrieved November 29, 2009.
  14. ^ Higa, Ryan. "Uploads". YouTube. Retrieved October 21, 2012.
  15. ^ "Interview: Ryan Higa on his YouTube celebrity status". South China Morning Post. Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  16. ^ "from archives > hi1,500". West Hawaii Today. May 25, 2008. Retrieved July 13, 2010.
  17. ^ a b "HigaTV". YouTube. Retrieved October 3, 2016.
  18. ^
  19. ^ nigahiga, June 3, 2016
  20. ^
  21. ^ Ryan Higa and Friends Create K-Pop Group as a Joke, Gets #1 Hit on K-Pop Charts, March 27, 2017
  22. ^ Ryan Higa Hits 3 Million YouTube Subscribers
  23. ^ Tko, Tonya (November 30, 2008). "NigaHiga Explains Name, Happy Slip, Kev Jumba & TonyaTko -Amazing Asians vol 1". YouTube. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
  24. ^ 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.
  25. ^ Jeff Sneider (May 28, 2012). "'Internet Icon' aims for virality". Variety. Retrieved December 10, 2012.
  26. ^ "Ryan and Sean's Not So Excellent Adventure". Retrieved November 15, 2009.
  27. ^ Associated Press. "YouTube was very good to this pair". Daily Herald. Archived from the original on July 4, 2009. Retrieved September 19, 2010.
  28. ^ "Ryan and Sean's Not So Excellent Adventure (2008)". Retrieved November 15, 2009.
  29. ^ "Ryan and Sean's Not So Excellent Adventure". Archived from the original on September 10, 2009. Retrieved November 15, 2009.
  30. ^ Higa, Ryan; Fujiyoshi, Sean (August 24, 2009). "Ninja Melk". Video. YouTube. Retrieved November 29, 2009.
  31. ^ "Ryan Higa". Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  32. ^ "Nigahiga". YouTube. Retrieved February 27, 2019.
  33. ^ Higa, Ryan (2011-01-25). "I'm Hardcore". YouTube. Retrieved 2019-01-02.

External links