Toto Funds The Arts: Call For Artists!

Art for art’s sake – l’art pour l’art – the notion that artistic pursuits are justification in and of themselves, extolling the intrinsic value of art independent of any external function or purpose it must serve. In the midst of wordly existences where in addition to creating, artists must simultaneously earn their daily bread – pursuing a purely artistic path becomes more and more difficult.

Angirus ‘Toto’ Vellani was a lover of the arts, a talented musician who was equally passionate about film and literature. In a tragic accident, this budding artist died at the tender age of 20, and it is in his memory that the non-profit trust – Toto Funds The Arts – was set up in 2004. “The thing I appreciate most about the awards is the motive behind it and why it’s called Toto,” says Khalid Ahamed, lead singer of Bangalore based experimental rock act Parvaaz – the winners of last year’s Toto Music Awards – “It’s just for the sake of pure art, to support young artists who want to pursue that path. Now that’s a beautiful motive”.

A multi-disciplinary award, TFA – now in its 12th edition – invites submissions from photographers, filmmakers, writers, musicians and bands. The trust will give out eight awards in total in 2016 – one for Music (Rs. 60,000), two for Photography (Rs.30,000 each), two for creative writing in English (Rs.30,000), one for creative writing in Kannada (Rs.30,000) and two for Short Films (Rs.30,000 each). “We first applied in 2013, but didn’t win” continues Khalid with a smile, “But winning last year was such a great experience, I mean this is your body of work, and when you get appreciation for it – for an artist, it’s like a drug. The more appreciation, the better music you can make. You also get to meet so many artists from so many different backgrounds at the awards”.

In addition to having just released their debut album Baran – Parvaaz currently has a new album in the works set for release in early 2016. Filmmaker Gokul Chakravarthy is also currently making a documentary on the band. Their music brings together elements of blues, rock and psychedelia seamlessly intertwining with the beauty of Urdu poetry and Kashmiri lyrics, strongly influenced by philosophers and poets such as Allama Iqbal. “Kaushif and I come from Kashmir – that’s how music has always been part of our culture”, continues Khalid, “our songwriting however is musically driven for us – the music comes first, and then the lyrics. Sometimes I’ll have a melody in my head, I’ll come to the jam room, and everyone will add on their ideas and parts – or sometimes we’ll go into the jam room and magically ideas are born”.

For more details on applying for the 2016 Toto Funds The Arts awards, visit:

Deadline is August 25th 2015!

Read more about Toto Funds The Arts on their website:  


IndiEarth is an online B2B platform that connects India’s non-mainstream independent Musicians and Filmmakers to worldwide Media. The platform features a blog, offers value-added services and wider opportunity networks through its partnerships. IndiEarth is an EarthSync Initiative.

More Posts

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.