Satien Mehta won an MTV VMA for producing Fall Out Boy’s “Uma Thurman” music video and worked with Grammy Award-winning artists and international brands like Jack Daniel’s, Kaiser Permanente and Universal Music Group.
Recently, he’s been producing projects for Halsey and her makeup line, About Face, and directed a Jay Pharoah music video.
He attributed it all to being at the right place at the right time.
“My career has been interesting,” says Mehta, who formerly lived in Phoenix. “I feel like it’s been a chain of random things that just happened.”
He “fell into” his career after interning for Universal Music Group from August to December 2006 and Sony BMG from August to December 2007. The first video he worked on — “Tie Me Down” by New Boyz featuring Ray J. — went to No. 1 on MTV. He served as the production coordinator.
Mehta’s resume also includes stints with Stampede Management in artist development; Tommy Hilfiger; Prodigy Management in artist management; as the first A&R in the United States for Circus Records; and, since 2016, as a producer/owner of Drive International Agency.
“I decided in 2016 to focus 100% on producing,” he says. “I’ve worked mainly on hip-hop and electronic, small and big businesses. I want to focus on corporate and the commercial side of things. I’ve been working with Kaiser Permanente for the last four years.”
Mehta grew up in Phoenix and lived in Beaverton, Oregon, and San Diego, where he attended the University of San Diego. He moved to LA in 2009.
Now, he’s searching for his next project. He’s entertaining the idea of recruiting the help of a venture capitalist. Mehta has not accepted funds before, so he’s a little hesitant. He built Drive International Agency from scratch. The single father says he has put millions of dollars back into the city by employing local crews.
“I’m looking at the universe and asking for guidance,” he says.
“I’ve peaked in my independent space. I’ve been in talks with a venture capitalist recently. He’s interested in helping me raise money to build out my company more than just me and my assistant.
“I’ve always prided myself on the standards and the customer service I provide. About 99% of my business has been referrals.”
Mehta does treasure his time with the likes of Fall Out Boy. The VMA, which the team shares, is in the band’s management office.
“They’re really nice guys,” Mehta says. “We spent four or five days with them. It was like organized chaos, basically. The executive producer, who was a friend of mine, called and said he had never done a music video before. This was on a Friday afternoon, and they were going to start filming on Monday.”
Within six hours, he found a tank and obtained insurance and a location for a scene in which the vehicle runs over a car.
“They were going to scrap that part, but I said, ‘Give me six or seven hours,’” he recalled. “I did everything, and we locked in the tank. There was a lot of stuff with insurance that I had to deal with, but it worked out great.”
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