From Film student to Bahamian Icon, Lavado Stubbs‘s career has been a rewarding one. The Bahamas native, who graduated from Full Sail’s Film program in 2011, spent a year working in Los Angeles before returning to his native Bahamas. He launched his production company, Conchboy Films, and quickly established himself as a director, working on music videos and commercials for major companies.
His hard work has paid off: In July, Lavado won the 2014 Bahamian Icon Award for Entertainment. The awards, which Lavado compares to major ceremonies in the states like the Oscars and the GRAMMYs, honor Bahamians in categories like entertainment, music, health, tourism, and education who are making prominent waves in their careers and contributing to the development of the Bahamian community.
“To get honored from my people is huge because I was born and raised in the Bahamas, and with everything I do, I always incorporate the Bahamas into it,” says Lavado. “Since I came back from L.A. a year-and-a-half ago, I’ve just been working nonstop, and to feel and see that my Bahamian people are behind me is such a great honor.”
Photo Credit: Farreno Ferguson
Another 2014 highlight for Lavado: his first record label-commissioned music video gig, after Sony Latin America selected him to direct the “Night & Day” music video for the Baha Men. The group (of “Who Let the Dogs Out?” fame) is the first musical act from the Bahamas to win a GRAMMY Award, and Lavado cites them as a huge inspiration in his decision to pursue a career as a music video director. Fellow Full Sail Film grad Anthony Bernard worked as an editor on the project.
“It was a collaboration,” Lavado says of the video, which was shot earlier this summer in the Bahamas. “They had an idea of what they wanted and I just fine-tuned it and put a little ‘me’ in it. We call it a down home Bahamian party. It’s colorful, because growing up here, colors are an important element. Everything is colorful in the Bahamas.”
The video is now part of Lavado’s impressive reel, which also includes a video for the Ok Go Music Video Challenge and a Bahamas-style spin on Pharrell’s 2014 hit single, ‘Happy.’ It’s always been Lavado’s goal to bring international attention to the Bahamas, a place he will always call home, even if opportunities in other cities come calling.
“I’m here [in the Bahamas] for a bit, but I still want to eventually go back to L.A., even if I make the Bahamas my base,” says Lavado, who has a few projects in the works. “I’d love to bring international artists to the Bahamas to shoot music videos. I always thought my first commissioned job would happen in L.A., but it happened in the Bahamas. Life works in different ways, and me coming home was a blessing.”
Top Photo: Azaleta Ishmael-Newry