About Us

The Tawoos Initiative gets it’s name from the Takht-e-Tawoos, or the Peacock Throne. The Peacock Throne was a famous jewelled throne that was the seat of the Mughal emperors of India. It was commissioned in the early 17th century by emperor Shah Jahan and was located in the Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of Private Audiences) in the Red Fort of Delhi. The original throne was subsequently captured and taken as a war trophy in 1739 by the Persian king Nadir Shah, and has been lost ever since.

Our name holds three pieces of significance for us. Firstly, The Peacock is a symbol of South Asia. The dance of the peacock, signifies the beginning of barsaat, or the monsoon rains, and his melodious voice in the early mornings, a new day. The Indian peacock itself is a jewel of South Asia, originating from India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Secondly, the taus was an instrument from Northern Punjab, also known as the Mayuri Veena, that was later modified into a more compact instrument used widely across the country. The beauty of the instrument, alongside it's evolution with time, is representative of the evolution of music by South Asians.

Finally, The Tawoos Initiative was created as a space for individuals to gather and explore the hidden jewels of South Asia- upcoming, independent, local and international artists who offer original, urban takes on the rich and vibrant history of music and arts in the subcontinent. As South Asia evolves, so do it’s arts. New artists take on the social, political, religious and cultural threads that run within South Asian societies, and meld them with the instrumentation and sounds of the West, creating music that is constantly innovative and evolving. Based out of Toronto, we hope to share the voices of these artists with you, and connect you with their indomitable art.