Ryan Higa

Ryan Higa

Ryan Higa rose to internet fame lip-syncing to various pop songs before setting up his own production company, starring in a full-length feature film and forming a parody K-Pop boyband. Born in Hilo, HI, Higa first came to attention when he and high school friend Sean Fujiyoshi began posting videos of themselves miming to pop hits such as James Blunt's "You're Beautiful" on their own YouTube channel, nigahiga, in 2006. After these clips, alongside equally popular comedic sketches mocking various stereotypes ("How to Be Gangster," "How to be Emo"), were removed by the online platform for copyright violation, Higa began composing his own music and working on entirely original material instead. Higa and Fujiyoshi went on to play themselves in "Ryan and Sean's Not So Excellent Adventure" (2008), a full-length feature film directed by former soap opera actor Richard Van Vleet in which they are courted by a Hollywood producer, and "Ninja Melk" (2009) a short in which they team up with a ninja master to defeat his arch-enemy. After venturing out on his own to play an undercover spy in the short film "Agents of Secret Stuff" (2010), Higa formed a more personal second YouTube channel, HigaTV in 2011, focusing on video blogs and behind-the-scenes footage. A year later, Higa formed his own production company, RHPC, to help deal with the demand for content, and alongside the likes of "Fast 5" (2015) director Justin Lin and "Rock of Ages" star Chester See co-founded the YOMYOMF (You Offend Me, You Offend My Family) Network, a showcase for new YouTube talent. Higa took on a judging role on the network's flagship show "Internet Icon" (2012) and after graduating from the University of Nevada with a degree in Nuclear Medicine, continued to raise his profile with a cameo in supernatural horror "Flight 7500" (2014) the launch of his very own mobile app, TeeHee, and the formation of Boys Generally Asian, a K-Pop boyband parody also featuring the likes of musician David Choi and "Twilight" (2008) actor Justin Chon. By 2016, Higa's YouTube channels had amassed an astonishing three billion viewers and 21 million subscribers, making him one of the platform's most popular stars of all time.