Preston Thibo, 22, performs at The Jam in Arcata on the night of Sep. 20. | Photo by Jerame Saunders

Musician Feature: Preston Thibo

A look into one of the key players in the underground Humboldt electronic scene.
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A look at one of the key players in the underground Humboldt electronic scene

Twenty-two-year-old Preston Thibo is a Humboldt State studio art major who mixes his own electronic music and throws underground parties, but that’s only a piece of what he envisions for the future of electronic music in Humboldt.

Thibo’s music career sprouted from his passion for throwing “renegades,” a term used to describe underground electronic concerts showcasing lesser-known artists at secret locations. He began throwing renegades a year ago, and soon found himself mixing music for his own shows.

“I wanted to give people a place to dance to electronic music instead of punk, which isn’t for everyone,” Thibo said. “And I didn’t see a scene up here so I created one.”

Throwing renegades was spear-headed because electronic music shows in Humboldt aren’t exactly accessible for people under the legal drinking age of 21 because electronic music shows are often held at venues that serve alcohol.

Thibo relaxing before heading to the stage for his set at The Jam on Sept. 22. | Photo by Jerame Saunders

This drove Thibo to begin working on full-fledged concerts stationed in landmark Humboldt locations. Eventually, he was sucked into becoming one of the showcased artists.

“I think I was on the forefront of making it happen,” Thibo said. “There are a lot of people up here who mix and who create, but there wasn’t really anywhere for them to perform.”

After the first renegade in 2018, the support from the community and fellow artists was substantial enough for him to throw more, all while performing at shows on and off-campus.

“The success in terms of money is not at all,” Thibo said. “Success in the terms of making people happy and giving people a good time, it’s been amazing.”

Preston Thibo plays music with a partner for a small crowd at The Jam on Friday, Sep. 20. | Photo by Jerame Saunders

Thibo was led to Humboldt to escape the urban trappings of Los Angeles and he quickly fell in love with the environment. However, there are still drawbacks to being an artist in such a unique area like Humboldt County.

“Pros are that it’s such a small community that you get to know everyone in it,” Thibo said. “But that can lead to a con as well.”

Thibo doesn’t necessarily consider his mixes as representative of the Humboldt electronic scene, which he describes as trippy, ambient and with deep bass.

“For me, I like to play disco and house music, and what gets people moving on an upper level and not so much on a downer level,” Thibo said.

“[Music] is everything to me. If I didn’t have a platform for me to share my music, I probably wouldn’t be as outgoing as I am today.”

Preston Thibo

According to Thibo, he is constantly striving to improve at making music, by accumulating better equipment and furthering his renegade brand called Esoteric Method with the name Kabbalah, his personal label as an artist. His other passions include stage design, making art installations and transporting people into the worlds he creates.

“I guess my goal is to unite people with similar interests who have awesome nights where they don’t have to worry about work tomorrow, school or class,” Thibo said. “They come and are in the moment and in the now, having fun with people they might not know.”

Thibo uses his creative outlets for social connection and to have a place where his music and art may impact the lives of others.

“[Music] is everything to me. If I didn’t have a platform for me to share my music, I probably wouldn’t be as outgoing as I am today,” Thibo said. “I grew up very shy and to myself. But now being able to play music and express myself through what I listen to with other people, it just makes me content with my every day life.”

To check out Thibo’s mixes, go to SoundCloud of MixCloud under the name “Monsieur.”

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