Dannel and Mandissa Flaveny

Dannel and Mandissa Flaveny at the 2019 GMATT Awards. Photo: Zwade Studios

THERE are some music videos that are so convincing that they stay with you for a long time. Such is the case with the music video for Jaron Nurse’s latest release “One More” directed by Dannel Flaveny of Expression House Media Limited.

While certain people glamorise the “gunman” lifestyle, this music video exposes the dark, lonely reality—that the mortuary and casket await those who choose a life of crime.

Flaveny and Nurse have worked on other projects including the video for Nurse’s song “Fed Up”. Both men share something in common—Gospel music. Years ago, Flaveny who was known by his stage name, “Mr Danny”, travelled extensively for the sake of music. But singing wasn’t his only talent—so was video production and it was while working at media houses that he got the opportunity to hone his abilities.

Then came the turning point in his life when he decided to step away from singing.

“God told me there was more to my life than just picking up a mic and singing,” says Flaveny.

Once he took a break from music, Flaveny says he lost everything, including those whom he thought were his friends. He was at rock bottom and living at his parents with just $40 to his name. Then things began to look up. He met Mandissa who later became his wife. Mandissa has a business acumen like none other and with her encouragement, Flaveny went back to school where he pursued a degree in Business Management. Flaveny had always been praised for his work with video production so one day he decided to start his own business. At that time, the only equipment with which he could edit videos was his wife’s old laptop.

A motivational quote from Steve Harvey convinced Flaveny that he should not give up despite the challenges.

“So I made the jump and my wife who had a good job at the time left it so that we could work on building Expression House Media Limited,” he says

Five years ago the couple began running the business together full time. They work primarily with corporate companies and produce commercials and feature videos for the likes of KFC, bmobile, Republic Bank, Rotoplastics and the Judiciary of Trinidad and Tobago just to name a few. Their work hasn’t gone unnoticed. Last year Flaveny took home the award for video and director of the year at the GMATT Awards. As for singing, he’s back under the name “D Flaveny”. He has a new song and music video for 2020 called “To the End”. Flaveny works on music videos in his spare time. When Nurse approached him with his song “One More”, Flaveny came up with his vision. And when it came to the video location, they had the assistance of Jamie Johnson and Clark & Battoo Ltd.

“Our slogan is ‘Making ideas a reality’ and we portray that in every video that we do. The purpose of the video is to show youths who want to go down the “badman” road that this is the end result—there’s no pampering at the mortuary, they hack you up and stitch you up—so you better think twice,” he says.

Flaveny often reflects on his life and how he came from nothing to having something. But he hasn’t forgotten his roots. While his company is not a “Christian” business, he stands by his morals and values. He is selective when artistes approach him and will only work with those whose message is a positive one.

“When we do music videos, I see it as our way of spreading the message and helping a Gospel artiste with their vision,” says Flaveny. “I’ve learnt to never hesitate to bless people because it always comes back to you.”

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