Ryan Higa was born in Hilo, Hawaii. He attended Waiakea High School and graduated in 2008.
In 2006, Ryan started posting videos on YouTube at the age of 16, under the username "nigahiga". They started as lipsync videos, and gradually shifted to short comedic skits. Ryan and his friend Sean Fujiyoshi starred in a movie in 2008 called Ryan and Sean's Not So Excellent Adventure.
Ryan also starred a short movie by Wong Fu Productions in 2012, called Agents of Secret Stuff. Ryan played Aden, the main character.
- Ryan has a black belt in Judo.
- Ryan is one of seven members of YTF Legacy, an American performing group.