Five things we learned from Netflix's Sidemen documentary

Five things we learned from Netflix's Sidemen documentary

The highly anticipated Netflix documentary The Sidemen Story dropped on February 14, delving into each member's journey from kids with cameras to fully-fledged productions.

The Sidemen have been making YouTube videos for more than 10 years and have racked up over 100 million views in the process.

Members include Ethan Payne (Behzinga), Harry Lewis (W2S), Joshua Bradley (Zerkaa), Olajide "JJ" Olatunji (KSI), Simon Minter (Miniminter), Tobit "Tobi" Brown (TBJZL) and Vikram "Vik" Barn (Vikkstar123).

The famed group have five YouTube channels: Sidemen, MoreSidemen, SidemenReacts, SidemenShorts and Sidemen en Español. They have evolved into marketing gurus with further merchandise, a vodka brand (XIX vodka), a book release and the launch of their very own restaurant chain.

Here are five things we learnt from The Sidemen Story:

How the group came together

Josh and Tobi went to school together, KSI and Simon went to school together – and Josh knew KSI through YouTube.

"Funnily enough, I was beating KSI at one point," Josh joked, with KSI adding that "Josh was one of the first OG YouTubers" and someone he looked up to.

Simon said he heard of YouTube "so late" and it was because of KSI when word around school revealed he was making videos online.

"No one could really believe it, because he was this shy, reserved guy," Simon explained.

The Sidemen Story | Official Trailer |

That's when Ethan came into the story around 2012 when Josh was watching Ethan's Fifa streams.

Josh brought Vik into the mix when something was going wrong with YouTube.

"It's bizarre when you think you can pinpoint individual sentences that changed the course of the next 10 years of all of our lives," Vik said.

The men described Harry as a "superstar before the Sidemen".

"He came and he stuck and he's forever been under the wing," Ethan said about Harry.

The first Sidemen house aka 'The Factory'

Josh, Simon, Vik and KSI moved into their first house together, described as a content-creating factory.

"[That house] was an assembly line of content all hours of the day," Vik recalled.

The foursome would eat, film, film some more, wake up and edit – a routine they'd follow for months to come.

KSI's departure from Sidemen

Ben Roberts Photo/Getty Images

In 2017, KSI announced he was no longer with the Sidemen. In the video, he said he "couldn't stand Ethan".

Vik described that moment as "the low point in the Sidemen arc," with the team making fewer videos together and KSI focusing on his music more.

KSI then released a diss track towards Sidemen, specifically Ethan, who responded within 24 hours.

Harry then jumped in on the action with another track against KSI, which Logan Paul described as the "first time he had heard about the Sidemen."

On the diss tracks alone, the group made half a million pounds in revenue.

Mental health struggles

During one of the YouTube videos, Josh opened up about his "crippling anxiety".

In a confessional during the documentary, Josh explained that it's from a "mixture of everything" that makes him "hyperaware of everything".

"I am very anxious so it made me very good at work," he said, adding that the way he coped with things was through gaming.

Elsewhere in the documentary, Ethan spoke about his own battles and how trolling impacted his well-being.

"I got to a point where I just wasn't happy at all," he said, adding that bottles of Jack Daniels were "going quickly" along with around £250 worth of weed each week.

"I knew I was a burden, a sh** person to be around," Ethan said, before sharing his struggles with suicidal thoughts.

Ethan opened up to his friends about his struggles who stepped in calling it a "big wake-up call".

Ethan then went on a transformative journey and turned his life around.

What motivates Sidemen to continue

In one snippet, the group discuss their motivation to keep going.

"For me, it's always legacy," KSI said, to which Vik added: "I mean, deep down we've worked so hard to get to the top that..."

The men turn their attention to an inside joke with Harry suggesting he could "stop tomorrow".

Harry said that while he "still enjoys" being a part of Sidemen, he is "close" to wanting to leave.

KSI concluded: "I see YouTube as the core, the heart. Without YouTube, everything dies... I wouldn't be able to box, I wouldn't be able to do music without YouTube. So I always feel like I have to post content there to make sure everything thrives."

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