Ryan Higa’s Journey: Facing Bullying, Losing Millions of Views, and Creating a K-Pop Boy Band

Internet personality Ryan Higa, best known for his popular YouTube channel NigaHiga, has had a very successful career on the Internet, but his journey has not been a walk in the park.

According to Social Blade, the main channel of the 29-year-old Youtuber, who was born in Hawaii but is of Japanese descent, is currently 33rd among those with the most subscribers in the US with over 21 million.

NigaHiga lost approximately 102 million views in less than a week.


NigaHiga got his first video on July 20, 2006 – almost one year after YouTube was founded. Due to his hilarious sketches, music videos, rants, opinion videos, and so on, he has managed to stay in business for more than a decade.

However, his path into comedy was not an easy one. When Higa was attending middle school, he was placed with older students. Unfortunately, instead of giving him a warm welcome, they started bullying him.

After a while, Higa learned that making fun of himself in front of his classmates was a good way to end the mistreatment. Soon later, he realized that being funny was something he enjoyed and that he wanted his family to laugh, too, so the now-Internet celebrity started recording comedic videos.

In 2006, Higa decided to post some of the clips he had recorded for his family members on YouTube as a way to make them more accessible for them. Much to his surprise, not only his family but also other people watched, liked, and shared them.


Even though his channel was getting more viewers and his popularity was on the rise, Higa chose to please his parents’ desire for him to have a college degree and started studying nuclear medicine at the University of Nevada.

However, he dropped out only two years later and noticed that YouTube was a unique opportunity, so he decided to pursue a full-time YouTube career. Thankfully, his parents fully supported his choice.


As Higa started focusing on his channel, his popularity, views, and subscribers significantly increased. However, his main channel, NigaHiga, faced a setback in March 2013 when he surprisingly lost approximately 102 million views in less than a week.

At the time, it made Higa the independent creator channel with the most views lost in the top 100 most views channels. While such an incident would have worried anyone, Higa took things lightly.

“Just lost a 100,000,000+ views on [YouTube] lol,” he shared on Twitter. “No its not a hack, apparently [YouTube] is deleting views from privated videos (I think)… and I have a lot of those due to copyrighted music [sic],” the Internet personality further explained.


About the matter, YouTube revealed that they changed the way they displayed the total views on channels taking into consideration the deleted or private videos.

“To make this less confusing to viewers, we’re transitioning to only displaying the total views of videos that are publicly available on the channel. So if you’ve deleted videos or made them private or unlisted, those views have been (or soon will be) removed from your channel total,” they pointed out.


In 2015, two years after the “purge,” Higa was in an interview with South China Morning Post in which he talked about some of the videos that YouTube deleted from his channel due to copyright violations. Most of them showed the youtuber lip-syncing to pop songs.

Higa admitted that those videos, removed between December 2008 and January 2009, were some of the first ones he created and that, since they were uploaded before the monetization option, the website didn’t care much about them.

“But once YouTube started making money, then all these music companies became money hungry, and they came after people like us, who had no intention of making money off those videos. It was simpler back then, but like anything, once you start making money, people will want a piece of it,” Higa emphasized.


While Higa became famous thanks to YouTube and social media, he has done his best to keep his life as private as possible. Even though Higa’s followers assumed that he was dating an actress, the Internet star never made it official.

Things changed earlier this year when he revealed that Arden Cho, the American actress best known as Kira Yukimura in “Teen Wolf,” was his girlfriend.

Not only he said it on his podcast “Off the Pill,” but also created a video titled “Revealing My Not-So-Secret GF!

Ryan Higa and Arden Cho have been dating since 2015, and the many photos and videos of the pair on Instagram and YouTube prove that they are a very loving couple.


Boys Generally Asian, also known as BgA, was the name that Higa and four of his friends gave to the band that was supposed to be a parody K-pop group.

However, their first song, “Dong Saya Dae,” peaked at number 2 on the official K-pop chart for iTunes soon after it was released in 2016.

Even though the song was conceived as a parody of all K-pop songs, people liked it and, at the moment, it has about 16 million views.

Their second song, “Who’s It Gonna Be” was even better received by the audience and it reached no. 1 on the K-pop charts in 2017. Even though it was more serious, it was also a parody.

At the moment, Higa is very busy with his principal and secondary YouTube channels, NigaHiga and HigaTV, and his podcast “Off the Pill.”

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