Ryan Higa (born June 6, 1990), also known by his YouTube username Nigahiga //), is an American YouTuber and actor. He is known for his YouTube comedy videos, which have been viewed over 2.9 billion times. As of September 2016, Higa's YouTube channel, nigahiga, has over 18 million subscribers.
Higa is of Japanese descent, specifically the Okinawa Prefecture. He was born in Hilo, Hawaii on June 6, 1990. He competed in judo and holds a black belt rank. He also wrestled and graduated from Waiakea High School in 2008.
Higa and Sean Fujiyoshi started posting YouTube videos of themselves lip syncing to songs in mid-2006 while attending Waiakea High School. 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.
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. 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), 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.
After Higa moved to Las Vegas to study nuclear medicine at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 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 includes Sean Fujiyoshi, that works together to make content for the nigahiga channel. In 2016 Higa, and other YouTubers and friends, created the parody K-pop group Boys Generally Asian.
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. According to Higa, his channel name is a combination of "Niga", which means "rant" in Japanese, and his last name, "Higa".
In 2011, he created a second channel, under the name HigaTV, where he posts video blogs and behind the scenes videos. As of September 2016, it has over 4.4 million subscribers.
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.
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. It was shown in sold out theaters in Hawaii and California. The DVD was released on July 14, 2009, in the United States.
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.
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 Ryan and Sean to catch the evil Bokchoy (played by Tim Enos) and his henchwoman, Gina (played by Tarynn Nago).
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 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 has been cast in the 2016 horror film Tell Me How I Die.