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Q&A: Asa Soltan Rahmati Talks 'Shahs of Sunset'
Star of Bravo's new show discusses culture and coming to
By MSN TV
Bravo's new reality show "Shahs of Sunset," set
to debut on Sunday, March 11, at 10 p.m. ET/PT, gives us a glimpse into the
day-to-day lives of Persian socialites as they navigate their careers,
dating and obligations to their families. MSN TV was able to catch up with
one of the stars, Asa Soltan Rahmati, who shared her passion for art, gave us
the scoop on the other cast members and told us how her life is summed up in
Was the decision to be on a reality show a difficult one to make?
Asa Soltan Rahmati: Extremely. I really had to sit with it for a bit just to
figure out if I wanted my life out there on TV, and I decided it would be a
wonderful thing for people to see how I live. Maybe some people out there will
be able to relate to some of the things I go through in my life, so, with that,
I decided to do the show.
Can you tell us a little about your childhood journey from Iran to
Germany? Did you go through quite a bit of culture shock?
I always sum up my life in three big chapters. The first seven years, we were
in Iran. In the beginning, things were really good. My parents had a lot of
wealth. Then the war started with a big revolution. We escaped and moved to
Europe and were admitted as political refugees in Germany. We had quite a bit of
hardship, but it was an incredible time for me as a child and as a teenager. I
feel that time really made me into the person I am today. Then, at 15, we moved
to Beverly Hills from Europe, so every time with these big moves it was a
culture shock but it wasn't at the same time, because I realized it is a part of
my journey and I was able to adapt really well each time. I feel like my life
journey is as much of a musical journey as it was a socio-political one.
What are you most looking forward to in the new show? Share with us
at MSN TV on Facebook and Twitter.
Where do you find inspiration as an artist?
When I was a child and the revolution happened in Iran in the late '70s,
Western music was illegal for a while. My parents used to have this crazy
collection of funk and disco music. I grew up with these amazing rich
experiences through my parents, my culture, and so by the time I was 15, I lived
in three different continents, spoke four different languages. Language and
culture is where I find inspiration. Also, I travel a lot. Once I started
traveling a lot, my perspectives about life changed.
What's the funniest thing we have to look forward to on the show?
The funniest thing -- without giving anything away -- will be the
Las Vegas episode. That episode is going to be hilarious. I have a term I made
up, called "Persianity," and that basically describes into one how we roll as
Persians. You'll see some hilarious moments unfold in the Las Vegas episode.
Did you know the other cast members prior to the show, or did you meet on
This is why this experience has been such an amazing one. Most of us grew up
in the same community. I remember Mike from high school; I've known Sammy since
I was a teenager, and so we all grew up seeing each other and now we're suddenly
on the TV show together. We have a lot in common, but we're all totally
What's the energy like when all six of you are together?
It's super-fun, high-energy fun. There's some drama; we're Persians! Extreme
high energy, super-dynamic and just complete fun!
What aspects of the Persian culture do you most want viewers to learn
about through the show?
I feel like growing up in the West there have been so many negative
stereotypes. Our essence has never been captured. In the end, even though
we are just six people and don't represent all Persians or the culture
... people will see how our relationships are with our families. They will
get a close look into the kindness, hospitality and loyalty, certain things that
truly run through our blood. It's been this way for thousands of years: Our
language has been the same; our cuisine has been the same for thousands of
years. So I hope people will see what we are like from on a human level.
Do you have any goals you'd like to accomplish through "Shahs of Sunset"?
In some ways I'm not so disciplined with my art. I'm personally really
excited to really get my music going and tackling the challenges of being an
artist. I am releasing my big hit when the show airs. I now have to put myself
out there in the pop music world.
What's your biggest life lesson and best advice you'd like to give other
The biggest life lesson I've learned throughout my incredibly blessed life is
be yourself. Even if you think right now it's not paying off, stay true to
yourself and listen to your heart. It's not easy and you learn to be a warrior
in life, but I think in the end it really pays off.