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KSI admits to nerves ahead of ‘big moment’ on live TV

He said he does not want to make a mistake when he performs his new single on Sport Relief next week.


KSI said he does not want to make a mistake during his live performance (KSI/PA)

KSI said he does not want to make a mistake during his live performance (KSI/PA)

KSI said he does not want to make a mistake during his live performance (KSI/PA)

YouTube star KSI has said he is more nervous about performing on live TV than he was boxing in front of an audience of millions.

The British internet personality, boxer and rapper will make his live TV music debut during BBC One’s Sport Relief broadcast next Friday.

KSI said that although he has 21 million subscribers on his YouTube channel and his videos have been viewed more than five billion times, he is feeling the pressure ahead of his “big moment” on the small screen.

KSI, right, and Trippie Redd in the Wake Up Call music video (Nathan James/PA)

He told the PA news agency: “It’s surprising that I’m so nervous because I’ve boxed in front of millions, and I’ve done YouTube videos in front of millions.

“But because this is a new platform for me, on TV and for Sport Relief, I definitely don’t want to make a mistake.

“I’d say there’s a few nerves there.”

KSI, whose real name is Olajide William “JJ” Olatunji, has more than five million followers on Twitter, and his boxing bouts with US YouTuber Logan Paul in August 2018 and November 2019 were among the most-watched events in the platform’s history.

The Watford-born star, 26, said he is excited to get up on stage and perform his latest single Wake Up Call during the televised charity event.

He added: “I’m going to be doing a lot of rehearsals.

“I’m spending quite a lot of money on the production and the performance. I’m just going to be making sure everyone there has a good time.”

In his Sport Relief performance, KSI will recreate the music video for Wake Up Call, which features American rapper Trippie Redd.

KSI v Logan Paul 2 Press Conference – Troxy
KSI, left, and Logan Paul ahead of their boxing bout last November (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

The single was released in January and peaked at number 11 in the charts. It followed the success of his 2019 track Down Like That featuring Rick Ross and Lil Baby, which made it to number 10.

KSI, who will release his debut album later this year, said it continues to be a struggle to branch out into music after being primarily known for launching his YouTube channel, which includes gaming and comedy vlogs, in 2009.

“Obviously people still see me as a YouTuber, so they kind of find it hard to see me as anything else,” he said.

“With the boxing thing, they were like, ‘Oh, you’re still a YouTuber,’ but with me I just like to spread out, bounce around and do many things, because I’m in a position where I’m able to.

“So I might as well take the opportunity, and I always make sure I do the most I can at my young age before I get old.

“It’s definitely harder (to break into music) because I’m a YouTuber, but I know that I need to keep making good music to the point where people feel happy for me to be doing music.”

KSI will perform on Sport Relief live on Friday March 13, on BBC One from 7pm.