We’ve all been saying it ad nauseum: we are living in some strange times right now. Many of us are feeling more lost, lonely and disconnected than ever before. That’s why it’s so important to maintain and honor the important relationships we’ve built, in whatever form they take.
The relationship between a mentor and their protégé is an incredibly valuable one for all parties involved. The guidance, inspiration and knowledge shared can help shape and grow a fledging talent or career, while also bringing validation and honor to the hard work and knowledge of an experienced professional. Today we’re celebrating the relationship between two creators making waves in the music scene. Meet music producer and DJ Vincent Caira and his mentor Hatiras.
Hatiras is a 2 time Juno award winning music producer, world famous DJ and one of the most influential names in house music today. Hatiras has hundreds of releases, remixes and 4 full length artist albums under his belt, and has performed as close as right here in Toronto, and as far as London, Amsterdam, and Tokyo. A creator who recognizes the value of collaboration, Hatiras has worked with a number of established and up and coming artists including Low Steppa, Angelo Ferreri, Sebb Junior, Todd Terry, Junior Sanchez, DJ Dan, J Paul Getto and of course, Vincent Caira.
Caira, an up and coming DJ in Toronto, has been making a name for himself both at home and abroad, playing in clubs like Coda and Wildflower and festivals like BPM. Caira connected with Hatiras at a party hosted by a fellow musician. Hatiras shared some music that would soon be released on his label, Spacedisco Records (that has released over 150 tracks from 50 different artists). Caira’s mind was blown by what he heard, and he saw an opportunity to learn from a legend. And so Hatiras became Caira’s mentor, with the pair working closely together on many projects, as well as the day to day operations of the record label.
For his part, Hatiras never really saw himself as a “mentor”. “I’ve always been drawn to working with other talented people – regardless of their age or achievements. If someone is talented and has that ‘magical’ energy about them – then I am happy to collaborate, share ideas, experiences and move forward together in an ego-free and cooperative way.” It’s that openness that has helped to form the productive relationship he has with Caira.
Hatiras sees the value in both being a mentor, and being open to what his protégé brings to the table. “Everyone has something to offer” says Hatiras. “Sometimes, the newest people in the game may be the ones that surprise you with the freshest ideas. A mentor must be humble, helpful, share knowledge – but also always be willing to learn and absorb knowledge as well.”
Understanding the value of the relationship and what it can mean for him and his career, Caira is making the opportunity and the time he has with his mentor count. “Hatiras is always keeping me inspired and constantly motivated to developing myself as an artist” Vincent shared. “One of the many things I’ve learned from Hatiras, through his own actions, is hard work and persistence pay off, and not to get caught up in labels. And to create what’s organic and authentic to yourself.”
And what has Hatiras hoped to impart on Caira most of all? “Work hard. Stay level headed. Life can be unpredictable. Do what you can to put yourself in a good situation. Put the work in and put yourself in the best situation possible but be patient. Good things come with hard work but you also have to be adaptable and learn how to go with the flow.”
If you’re a creator out there looking for a mentor, Caira has this advice for you: “Surround yourself in your art, [and] work with different people. That naturally leads to creating meaningful relationships with like-minded artists.”
Check out the killer track these artists created together, aural evidence of the impact of great mentorship: “New Jack” by Hatiras and Vincent Caira.
*all photos by Lindsay Anne Delaney