Persian singer and songwriter Artin Shahvaran has been singing and playing the piano since he was a teenager. It wasn’t until he attended Tehran’s Conservatory of Music, did he study and learn classical music under the tutelage of prominent Armenian music teachers.
Shahvaran, whose real name is Mohammad Shahvaran, is a Persian artist known for his work “The Mask” (2003), “Maryam” (2010), and “Marzia My Friend” (2015). He has also composed the soundtracks for “Night of Doubt” (2004), “Marzia My Friend”, and “Bitter Chocolate” (2019).
Known throughout the Middle East, Shahvaran has performed at numerous events throughout Turkey, Georgia, Dubai, and Azerbaijan. He is currently the producer of the largest event show out in UAE called “Puzzle Show”, which is filmed out on an island known as “Kish” in the Persian Gulf near Dubai.
CelebMix sat down with Shahvaran who will be starring in the upcoming Finnish film ‘Concert In the Rain,’ directed by Matjatta Alestalo.
‘Concert in the Rain’ is a drama based on a true story, portraying strange, unexpected events happening to a Persian expatriate artist (Shahvaran). The main character decides to immigrate to Finland on a friend’s recommendation, but is met with unintentional harrowing experiences. Consequently, financial problems cause him to join a number of illegal gambling websites. Due to the financial turmoil and money laundering behind these websites, news of these practices begins to hit Persian social media networks and news outlets.
CelebMix: Thank you for sitting down and speaking with us today, Artin. What would you consider to be your most well known song throughout the Middle East?
Artin Shahvaran: Definitely ‘Maryam’, because it is an emotional song. I’ve heard it played in most countries out here in the Middle East.
CelebMix: What else can you tell us about ‘Maryam’ and what it’s about?
AS: I produced this song in 2010, and quickly became famous with the song because of the number of singers from India, Uzbekistan, and Turkey singing it in different languages. The title ‘Maryam’ refers to the name ‘Maryam’ which is a beautiful name used all over the world.
CelebMix: We are quite interested in your career as a singer and songwriter. How did you first become immersed in the industry?
AS: As a teenager, I could sing and play the piano (to some extent). Eventually, I attended Tehran’s Conservatory of Music, where I learned about classical music, and of course, how to better my skills as a pianist. Under that tutelage, I was able to compose and arrange music, eventually releasing my first album “Mask.”
CelebMix: You also have a background in art. What can you tell us about this?
AS: In 1996, I received an honorary doctorate in art from Iran’s University of Science and Technology. In recent years, I taught at many music schools, instructing students on music used in film and animation. I have also participated in larger concerts with well-known Persian singers such as Naser Abdollahi, as well as Arabic-speaking singers.
CelebMix: What else can you tell us about ‘Concert in the Rain?’
AS: Right now, I am unfortunately unable to reveal any details, as the film is still in its shooting stage, but we expect more information to be released soon!
CelebMix: How did you come across Matjatta Alestalo, the director of the film?
AS: After working with Mattila in the documentary “Marzia My Friend” (1996), I met Matjatta Alestalo, another finnish director. After researching my artistic activities and the closeness of my artistic character to the main character portrayed in ‘Concert in the Rain,’ he suggested that in addition to helping compose the soundtrack, I also consider playing the role of the main character in the film. Of course, I accepted!
CelebMix: Can you share with us your previous experience acting? Or why this role is different from previous roles you’ve taken on?
AS: Prior to this film, I had experience playing in “The Night Of Doubt”, but the appeal of this new work, ‘Concert in the Rain’ was more up my alley due to its connection with music.
CelebMix: What can viewers expect from the film?
AS: Some artists from Persian-speaking countries migrate to other countries due to some restrictions in their own country, facing many difficulties. After a while, they inevitably start advertising for unauthorized sites–a frequent behavior, unfortunately. In recent years, the topic of ‘betting’ sites has attracted many young people in Persian-speaking countries, but some of these sites operate illegally and use music and movie artists for advertising. This film depicts the problems these artists encounter in some of these countries.
CelebMix: What can listeners expect to hear from the upcoming soundtrack for ‘Concert in the Rain’?
AS: After many hardships, the main character of the film, who is a singer, performs his concert in an open space, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The sudden rain and people leaving the locale reflects an extremely somber and sad scene. The music of this part of the film is very emotional and depicts a painful moment in time. A cry that is not seen in the rain, as he performs the song for empty seats.
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