KSI Exclusive FAULT Magazine Digital Cover Shoot and Interview

KSI X FAULT Magazine

Jacket: Coach | Glasses: Ace & Tate

 

Photographer: Joseph Sinclair

Stylist: Krishan Parmar 

Grooming: Rachael Thomas @ Beautii

Shot on location at Duo London

 

Words: Miles Holder

Olajide Olayinka Williams Olatunji more popularly known as the Internet sensation ‘KSI’ is one of 2019’s biggest success stories. While his longtime career as one of Youtube’s most popular creators is a great achievement in its own right; it has been his ability in recent years to further his notoriety away from the platform which has turned this once “internet celebrity” into one of the most talked-about entertainers of 2019.

With his Youtube career, documentaries, two record-breaking boxing matches against fellow YouTuber Logan Paul and all the other responsibilities which come with being KSI on his plate, it comes as a big surprise that he still found time to make it into the studio to record new music.

With his latest track “Down Like That” cosigned by featured music industry heavy hitters Rick Ross, Lil Baby And S-x; KSI’s musical career appears to be born from a more genuine place when compared to the offbeat gun fingering and unseasoned Milly Rock laden music videos we see so often churned out by Los Angeles’ overpopulation of YouTubers attempting to make a quick buck off the culture.

We sat down with KSI to find out more about the man behind the music, a look back on his career decisions so far and his plans for the future.

 

Jacket: Coach | Trousers: Scotch & Soda | Shoes: Palladium | Glasses by Ace & Tate

 

Tell me, how does it feel to be number 1 in the iTunes charts right this second?

I legit saw it and just got gassed. For me, I just thought I’d get top ten and be cool and it just got higher and higher and then reached number one. There were other names in there like Stormzy, Lewis Capaldi, Dua Lipa, Billie Elish and I’m ahead of all of them! It’s unreal, I thank the people for getting me in this position because I’ve worked hard and I think people have seen that. With all the things that I’ve done whether it’s boxing, YouTube or music, I think people just respect what I do.

 

Is it weird to see all the other names in the charts, now become your competition as a musician?

If I’m being honest, I don’t know what it’s like because I’ve never seen them as competition before this, I just kept doing my own thing and it’s just worked out this way. It’s cool to be up there with them but for me, I’m just doing my own thing and it got me to where I am so I’m just going to keep doing that.

Was music always the dream?

I’ve never had a plan and I just go with the flow. With Youtube, I just do it because I enjoy it and the same goes for music, I liked making tracks but I didn’t have a plan. There was no critical thinking with it, I just want to make stuff that I like making. Now to be able to have a track that doing well is unreal and I keep checking it to make sure it’s still number one.

 

When you’re writing music, do you have the audience for and if so, who are your key listeners? 

For me, if I’m being honest, it’s about me and how I feel and my circumstances and I think people just relate to that. I like to write a lot about overcoming the people who say you can’t do things and I like to write about past relationships and things that I’ve been able to buy off the back of my success.  I think there are elements there that people just relate to. It’s not that I write for certain people, I just write for me if I’m being honest.

 

Full Look: Mihara Yasuhiro

Is music writing something that’s always come naturally to you?

Since I was a kid, I was writing songs to help me remember subjects in school. I had problems revising and fitting in so I’d make raps and learn the raps to help me revise for exams. I’ve been writing for time, I would write about what I just did in FIFA or Call of Duty or I would be Messi and my mate would be Ronaldo and we’d just have a rap battle going back and forth. When I bought a Lamborghini, I thought it was sick so I released a rap about it, I just make music because I like making it as opposed to looking at it as a way to make money – I’ve already got money.

I like creating content that fits. I just like making content.

 

Full Look: Mihara Yasuhiro

Will we see a KSI album?

Yes for sure.

 

As we end the decade, what’s been the most important thing you’ve learnt in the last 10 years?

I guess it’s just to work hard and work smart. Always mix it up and never do the same thing over and over again and to just enjoy what I’m doing. That’s been the main lesson, if you’re not enjoying something then stop doing it.

Last year after the draw with Logan, I took a little break because I wasn’t enjoying it. I didn’t enjoy boxing, going to training and working out; I hated it all so I just stopped. That’s how I am; if I don’t enjoy something I just won’t do it. I don’t need to.

 

What’s the hardest hurdle you’ve had to climb?

I think mentally the boxing was a big one for me. Losing the fear of being punched in the face, that took a while to get my head over. To be able to get into good positions you’re going to have to take a few on the chin in order to swing back harder. Mentally it really took its toll but once I got past it, it makes you a better fighter.

 

Jacket& Trousers: Lee

I noticed when you talk about boxing your mention it takes a lot out of you and you needed to take a break from it altogether, with it taking such a toll on you in the past, I wonder where you are with it now. Do you need to take another break from it to get your head right again?

I enjoy it now. It’s annoying because I haven’t had time to get back into it because I’ve been doing so much press and travelling. I keep hitting up my trainer because I want to train more but I’m trying to get back into it as soon as I can.

 

You have a long line of opponents throwing their names in the ballet. Tommy Fury issued a challenge, is that of any interest to you?

If I’m honest, not really. He needs me more than I need him, like way more. I’m on a completely different level to him. If he wants a fight he can fight one of my coaches Viddal Riley, but he won’t though because Viddal would fuck him up [laughs].

 

Would you consider a once and for all, best of 3 with Logan Paul? 

Right now, I just don’t think there’s any benefit there. I’ve come off a win and we fought last year, this year and the hype won’t be there if we fight yet again. He had two chances to try and beat me and failed both so let him fight someone else because I’m definitely ready to fight a different person now.

 

Jacket& Trousers: Lee | Shoes: Dr Martens.

Who would you be excited to fight then?

There are rappers I’d love to fight and other celebrities – I’m not going to say who because I know if I do it will be everywhere so right now I’ll just say I’m looking to fight someone else.

 

What should everyone be excited to see from you next year? 

I guess everything, be excited about everything I do. I might do a documentary, festival you just never know so just be excited for me and see what I do.

 

Jumper: Wood Wood

Do you have any career regrets?

No, I think everything has worked out perfectly so why would I change that? I’m at the best position of life and that’s because I’ve failed a few times. I feel like I wouldn’t change anything.

 

What is your FAULT?

I get hungry, I get thirsty sometimes I need to take a shit and that reminds me that I’m human. I don’t know, I’m quite humbled I never change and I think that’s important in my career and made me quite successful.