Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Jordan (BiXop) Fields & Lena Silva
'I Met My Wife On Facebook and Moved With Her To Brazil'
If you’re looking for a love that will move you abroad, you might want to check your dms.
When Jordan Fields first saw his now wife Lena Silva on Facebook, he tells us that he knew she was the one.
“When I saw Lena’s profile picture, I automatically fell in love and knew that if I played my cards right, she would be my wife,” he told Travel Noire.
Fields, also known as BiXop, is a hip-hop artist from Plainfield, New Jersey. His inspiration to move abroad started with the gun violence in his hometown.
“Blacks were killing Hispanics and vice versa,” he said. “We tried to organize in our community. We had rallies and marches but there was a huge distrust and language barrier between the two groups. I moved to Panama in 2011 to learn Spanish and help bring peace. We started a music group there called Negros Americanos, and when we returned in 2012, we were those Black guys rapping in English and Spanish.”
The group became so popular that they did shows with Redman, Naughty by Nature, and Styles P, and eventually became popular with people in Brazil.
“Feeling like I had nothing to lose, I started a process of teaching myself the language by listening to classic Brazilian rap and making covers of myself rapping the lyrics that went very viral on YouTube and helped me to have a big name in this country,” he said.
Before making the move to São Paulo to relocate his music, Fields began making connections on Facebook to have a network of musical associates before he got there and that’s how he met his wife, Lena Silva. The two have a group called UmSoh, which translates to Just One in Portuguese.
“We are two people but we roll together as one,” said Fields. “We are African American and Afro Brazilian, but our origins are just one: African. We want to unite Black cultures throughout the Diaspora.”
The couple makes music in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian, as Lena lived in Genoa, Italy for 10 years before moving back to Brazil.
The goal with their music is to entertain and educate.
“There are so many people in the US that know absolutely nothing about Afro Brazilian history and its importance, and so many people in Brazil that know nothing about the things we go through as Blacks in the United States. We are always educating on our YouTube channel with documentary style videos,” said Fields.
The two are dropping their first album titled Longa Jormada which means Long Journey, name that has a deep meaning for Fields as an expat in Brazil.
“I feel incredibly free here,” said Fields. “Brazil is a strange place because for many Black people in this country, it’s pure hell just like for us in the States. Many of them have a vision that we live in heaven in America, so they can’t seem to understand why I would want to live here when I had it so good back home.”
He adds that while he understands his privilege, he works to uplift the Afro Brazilian community. And despite the racism in Brazil, Fields said the quality of life is better than in the US.
“Brazil has SUS, which is basically ‘socialist medicine’ as a far righter would deem it. I didn’t have health insurance back home, I was a teacher’s assistant without a good benefit package,” he said. “Here in Brazil I get taken care of without having to pay much of anything whenever I have a health problem.”
Finding love abroad
If you’re looking for love to take you abroad, Fields recommends focusing on meeting new people and let love fall in its place:
“Try to have fun learning and understanding cultures, and if you happen to fall in love while doing it, that is wonderful. Imagine if you met someone online saying they were looking for love from someone from the US, wouldn’t that seem strange? Wouldn’t it seem like there were some special interests there beyond just love and companionship? I think the same thing applies to people looking outside the US,” said Fields.
“I also want to leave this for the brothers because I have seen all kinds of foolishness here, where Black men come looking for women all while bashing Black American women as if they will find something ‘better’ out here,” he added. “People are people. There is no place that has better women if you aren’t a better man. No plane ticket will make you interesting or worth it and a lot of times these guys don’t want love, they want a servant. A conscious Black Brazilian woman wouldn’t want to hear you badmouthing her Diaspora sister, that would just turn her off.”
“My last tidbit here is that most relationships like ours will FAIL if you both don’t learn each other’s culture and cultural norms, as well as the language. One of you may do something that the other feels is unforgivable but in your mind it was nothing, and the same thing goes for language. You might translate something that is normal in your language but comes out really offensive in the other. We have been married for 4 years and dating for about 5. I think that the only way an international relationship can work is if you have similar goals and have some kind of plan.”