When a Colorado-based artist celebrates their inaugural headlining debut at Red Rocks, it’s always a huge moment for our ever-expanding music community — especially within our EDM scene. But artists can’t do this alone; it takes a massive team. If you’re Mersiv, who recently joined the short list of Colorado residents to perform (and sell out) a headlining show at Red Rocks, it also takes a tank. I’m not talking about an army vehicle; I’m talking about Mersiv’s manager, the co-founder of MorFlo Records and Lead Artist Manager at Mindwarp Management — Taylor “Tank” Reed.
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Throughout the past five years, the duo has built a solid foundation for their MorFlo record label, which started right here in Colorado. These days, MorFlo features the hottest up-and-coming acts in the country, including Smoakland, LYNY, A Hundred Drums, Tape B and many more. But, in the beginning, MorFlo was just an eclectic group of music-loving friends hoping to spotlight the lesser-known bass artists in Colorado and beyond. According to Reed, the pillars of their success are simple: sacrifice, vision and work ethic.
“If you really believe in your vision, and you work every day to make that a reality, nothing can stop you,” Reed said in an exclusive interview with 303 Magazine. “That’s what I found when I started working with Anderson (Mersiv). It was never ‘if’ for us. It was always ‘when.’”
That was in 2016. Two years later, they launched MorFlo Records, a Colorado-based record label inspired by the cherished “flow state,” a mental space that occurs when someone is so engaged with an activity that the outside world seems to melt away; it’s an intoxicating feeling that creatives and human beings at large are constantly chasing. “The flow state is therapeutic for the mind, body and spirit,” Reed said. “That’s what MorFlo is all about: helping artists find their flow.”
“The flow state is therapeutic for the mind, body and spirit. That’s what MorFlo is all about: helping artists find their flow.”
But the flow state comes in all shapes and sizes; creatives aren’t the only people capable of reaching this higher plane. It’s all about following your heart and doing the things you love, whether that be making music, riding your bike or getting lost in a good book. For some people, mundane knitting is enough to trigger the flow state. For others, it requires a bit more excitement. That’s where Colorado comes in.
If there are two things Colorado loves, its outdoor activities and live music, both of which are notorious for activating the flow state. Sports like snowboarding and rock climbing are so engaging that it’s near impossible to focus on anything else. The same can be said for a great concert. “Colorado has such a beautiful creative community because people come here seeking something special, whatever that may be,” Reed said.
“Colorado has such a beautiful creative community because people come here seeking something special, whatever that may be.”
“It’s about the collective consciousness — Colorado is made up of a bunch of like-minded people chasing the flow state. When all of those people end up in the same place, it spreads like wildfire.” Reed, who grew up in Wichita, Kansas, moved to Boulder when he was 17, less than a week after he graduated high school. He wasn’t necessarily chasing the flow state, but he was chasing opportunity. Soon enough, he found that at Madison House, a boulder-based touring agency that coordinates and books artist tours all over the world.
When he started at madison house, he was just filling waters for agents and filing contracts. Still, he had his start was determined to make the best of it. He eventually migrated into a more formal marketing internship with Madison House Presents, where he says he realized that “the music industry is so much more than what fans see. It’s engineering; it’s completely intertwined. I thought that was so cool.”
However, Reed has always had a certain entrepreneurial spirit that’s hard to contain within an established organization. After a few years at Madison House and Madison House Presents, he knew it was time to get some real, first-hand experience as an artist. Thus, Reed’s rap project, Knat Turner, was born.
“I stopped working at Madison House because I wanted to be an artist, full-time,” Reed said. “I saw some pretty solid success with the Knat Turner project right out of the gate. I had good streaming numbers, all that stuff. But I realized I wasn’t nearly as talented as some other artists who didn’t have those numbers. I just understood the business really well. That’s when I realized my calling wasn’t to be an artist. It was to be an artist manager.” A few months later, Reed was officially managing Anderson Gallegos, an up-and-coming experimental dubstep producer who went by Benoit — today, the world knows him as Mersiv.
That creative spirit still lives on through Reed’s managerial style and relentless dedication to his vision, which he now shares with roughly 15 artists signed to his management company, Mind Warp Management, including Mersiv, A Hundred Drums and Smoakland, who all live, or have grown up in, Colorado. “I think that’s what sets me apart from other managers — I’m an artist first,” Reed said.
Reed has spent the last five years embodying that artist-first mentality through both his endeavors with Mind Warp Management and MorFlo Records. When Reed and Gallegos started MorFlo, it was “just a group of friends who made great music,” Reed said. “But no one else wanted to give them a chance. So we created that chance ourselves.”
The music has always come first. And it always will. That’s the driving force behind MorFlo’s genesis, and it continues to be the reason why MorFlo is one of the hottest record labels in modern-day bass music. Despite MorFlo’s growing notoriety, the label remains true to the underground.
“MorFlo has built a great team, and we all pride ourselves in being connected to the underground. We want to have our finger on the pulse at all times. If there’s something new and exciting happening in the underground bass world, someone on our team is gonna find out. That’s how we keep growing.”
MorFlo is as Colorado as it gets. Check out MorFlo’s latest release, “Ungodly Hour” by fellow Colorado-based producer, VEIL, and make sure to catch Smoakland and A Hundred Drums opening for Zeds Dead at their annual Dead Rocks celebration at Red Rocks Ampitheatre and Civic Center Park on July 2nd, 3rd and 4th.