Preston Holm (a.k.a. Stone) is a South Dakota-raised, New Orleans-based producer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, recording engineer, filmmaker, and chef. Holm’s father had a hobby of building musical instruments from kits, and led Holm and his two older brothers in a family bluegrass band. Holm graduated from McNally Smith College of Music in Minneapolis/St. Paul with an Associates Degree of Applied Science in audio production and engineering. In Minneapolis, he was one of the founders of the band Buffalo Moon, which toured the United States and South America, playing keys, percussion, and woodwinds. Over the last 13 years, Holm has engineered 26 released albums/projects, with writing/production credits on 8 of them.
In the Fall of 2016, Holm started an afterschool recording program for New Orleans youth called Headliner’s Academy, with help and support from the Museum of Old and New Art, based out of Hobart, Tasmania. Headliner’s Academy taught school-age teenagers basic recording skills, empowering young people as both recording artists and producer/engineers. This modest afterschool program transformed over time into a full-time endeavor: The Embassy Studio, which offers free one-on-one recording sessions for a select yearly group of New Orleans-based emerging artists, with an emphasis on artists from BIPOC and LBGTQ+ communities. Now four years old, The Embassy Studio has hosted 32 Embassy Resident Artists, with a new class of six artists starting up again recently, after a 4 month hiatus during COVID-19.
In 2019 The Embassy started a new program called Sunday Sessions, a weekly recording education and creation day for previously incarcerated youth and adults. The program is also lead by Mike Mosko, a youth-advocate and organizer with the New Orleans Public Defender’s Office, who works with the Travis Hill School (the satellite school system inside the juvenile justice system in New Orleans). The Embassy and Travis Hill School are planning a group project and recording space for incarcerated New Orleans youth.
In February of 2020, for Mardi Gras, the Material Institute (a fashion-focused ‘sister school’ to The Embassy), Big Freedia the Queen Diva, and Holm’s collaborators, the 2019 resident artists of The Embassy, worked together to present a concert (titled Sirens Of Salvage) at the iconic New Orleans venue, Music Box Village. Outside of Big Freedia’s headlining performance, 100% of the performers’ clothing was created by the Material Institute out of recycled materials, and 100% of the music was created by The Embassy Studio.
Holm has also engineered and produced scores for three short films, Blood Runs Down (winner of the Best Narrative Short at the New Orleans Film Festival), All Skinfolk Ain’t Kinfolk, and Sacred. He has directed five music videos and helped on countless others shoots. Many photoshoots and video editing projects.