‘Shahs of Sunset’ star Asa Soltan Rahmati is a ‘spiritual gangster’
Asa Soltan Rahmati is a busy woman. Bravo’s “Shahs of Sunset” just returned for a third season, but filming the drama-filled reality show isn’t the only thing the self-proclaimed Persian princess has been up to. Since we last saw her, Rahmati has launched a boutique alkaline water company, Diamond Water; created a collection of artwork; and fashioned an entire business around her Priestess image. Sure, Rahmati has her fair share of haters — including some of the fellow “Shahs” she calls friends — but, if you ask her, that doesn’t stop her from getting what she wants.
It seems like a lot of great stuff has happened for you lately. We’ll see the launch of Diamond Water this season right? How was that experience?
You know what? It’s been kind of amazing. Diamond water is not just a spinoff of the Bravo show, where somebody just puts his or her name on a product. This is really my baby. This season you will see, from A to Z, how I struggled in creating the business and everything else that goes into the really intimate process of making Diamond Water. The cameras were with me the whole way, so you really get to see the unfolding of Diamond Water, and how it went from just a concept to a full-on tangible product.
Have the other “Shahs” been supportive of your new venture?
No, there was definitely some hater-ation, and some naysayers talking s—. But you know what? I’m a survivor and everything I have, I have worked hard for. Diamond Water is my dream, nobody else has to believe in it except for me, so I don’t care what other people say, I know that I can make it happen, and once it’s ready people will love it. And they did.
Where do you find inspiration for your art?
Art has always been a vehicle of therapy for myself. I’m able to process the pain I went through living as a refugee in an immigrant ghetto in Germany. A lot of my work has to do with identity and living between cultures. Whether it’s with my music or with my visual art, there always seems to be some sort eastern/western gangster flair to it. It’s always been art, life and love, all melted together for me.
You’re the self-proclaimed Persian Pop Priestess. What’s that all about?
I learned at young age that we have so much that makes us who we are; the main things are love and humanity, but mainly love. I kind of became a spiritual gangster really early on. The Priestess is really a spiritual gangster. Love by all means necessary. Not in that weird hippie way, but in a true, primal way.
What is the Priestess Detox?
I am a woman that has curves. I am very proud of my body, I’m not trying to be skinny, but I believe in being healthy. The detox is made up of four simple components: eat wholesome, unprocessed foods; exercise regularly; drink lots of alkaline water; and get plenty of sleep. It’s a simple detox that cleanses your body, and gets rid of all the bulls— and negativity in your life.
What’s one moment this season that meant a lot to you?
This season is seriously epic. When I do my art show, it deals with the three phases of my life, of my childhood. I basically worked with old family pictures and I projected the images through a video projector and danced in front of it. It was a personal piece for me and propelled me to organize a family reunion in Turkey with my family that’s still in Iran. I haven’t been able to see them for 30 years because of my refugee status, and not being allowed to go back.
How was that trip?
I got to take my mother and the entire cast, besides Lilly [Ghalichi]. Reza [Farahan], my mom and myself actually got smuggled to the Iranian border and cried our eyes out. It was a really emotional experience, and just a snippet of how crazy this season is.
You and GG [Gharachedaghi] make amends in the first episode of the new season. Think her apology was genuine?
I think that last season was really hard for her. I think that she learned consequences. People don’t think she has changed, but her and I are in a really good place and I see her like a little sister. I’m really big on giving people second chances and forgiving people when they truly know what went down. I can’t hold a grudge.
The rift between Lilly and MJ [Javid] seems to be messing with the group’s dynamic…
MJ is my girl. In our culture, depending on how tight you are, it’s not OK to invite someone to a party and then just not allow them to come. We all wanted MJ there. Yeah she didn’t RSVP, but she humbled herself and asked if she could still come later on. Lilly always feels the need to point out that she has class. The right thing to do would have been to let her come.
“Shahs of Sunset” airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on Bravo.