Rapper, entrepreneur, visionary: is there anything Jordan Friedman can’t do?
Rapping under the name, Voyajor, Friedman began his career as a curious 12-year-old on YouTube. Rapping was something that gave him a passion: being able to view his surroundings and put forth his own thoughts and opinions on matters was something that drove him as much as it did create his success.
By 16 years old, he was already on par with known rappers — it was not a matter of talent that was separating him from these established artists, but a matter of time. He moved to Isla Vista first as a University of California, Santa Barbara student, but soon dropped out to pursue music and entrepreneurship full-time.
“When talent isn’t a thing that is a separator, then the motivation grows,” Friedman said, and as a result he felt that his “goal of rapping for a career was actually attainable.”
As he began working harder, his passion and determination grew tenfold. He was able to build a network through the UCSB and Isla Vista community which helped him to shoot videos and play in concerts. As a testament to his success, his first mixtape on Soundcloud racked up 64,000 plays in a mere three weeks.
“It got so popular so quickly because of my friends from youth group who were all in college,” Friedman explained. “My theme is to use my network of people as hard and quickly as possible, to get my career to a certain point and focus on how to get it to the next level.”
He was able to transfer this same success and ambition with him in his soon to be entrepreneurial pursuits as well. His first business is a web application that is optimized for mobile usage. It simplifies the sometimes tedious task of finding medical marijuana and then having to go great lengths to pick it up. Within four clicks, users can have medical marijuana delivered to them.
While most freshmen in their first quarter are trying to find their classes, Friedman was trying to find investors. He found investors in the Silicon Valley that believed in his vision as much as he did. Once this happened, he stepped down from CEO to Chief Technical Officer and began earning a salary.
But the 19-year-old didn’t stop there. With one business and a rising rap career, Friedman then became involved with a budding company. Working with two students from Dartmouth and one from Stanford, he describes his second company as a combination of Snapchat and GoPro.
“It is essentially a micro camera with 360-degree videos,” he explained.
Using his fundraising and people skills (he kept asking me questions about myself during the interview that was about him), he was able to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars in a matter of months.
Friedman recalled, “I met my business partners at a concert and made this small connection leading to a big business,” an idea that Friedman still embraces. Small connections can lead to much bigger things. He cherishes and genuinely values all connections and relationships he has maintained.
However, running five businesses and managing a rap career can be pretty time consuming; a typical day for him involves waking up when he pleases, working out, then following up with business calls and emails for upwards of 3 to 4 hours, then ending his night in the place he loves most: his studio.
Friedman has a clear vision and path that he has laid before himself through sweat and genuine hard work. He describes his final realization using a hat metaphor: “Everybody wears their own hat, and mine happens to be a rapper/ entrepreneur hat, which, once I realized this, was able to be very comfortable with myself and my decisions.” Aside from his career, he is creative, determined and places value on presence with other people, making it obvious that Friedman was destined to be successful from the start.
When I asked him about what his ideal future might look like, his eyes seemed to immediately light up. With a subtle smile, he explained, “possibly get signed, make a million dollars before I am 21, and consistently be able to get over 100,000 views and plays on my videos and tracks.” Despite his success, he is humble and able to maintain a level head admitting that “I fail just like everyone else. I learn from my failures and others’. I give 120 percent to get 50 percent back.”
Growing a fan base in I.V. is something that he places great value upon, claiming that, as long as he has I.V’.s support he will have the confidence to move forward no matter where his journey may take him.
Nonetheless, it’s safe to say that Voyajor could quite possibly become the Jack Johnson of the rap world (with hopefully another shout out to DLG in one of his tracks) and someday we can all reminisce on when he was just budding artist here in Isla Vista.