Christina Dietz proves she’s on the way to the top

Christina Dietz (Tim White)

Christina Dietz waltzes around the lounge in the Blue Laguna casually mingling with the people who have gathered to see her perform. When she stops at a large, packed booth to chat, she shares the recipe for a drink she calls Europe in a Shot Glass, Baileys on the bottom, Tuaca in the middle and a little bit of vodka to top it off.

Eventually, the raven-haired songbird continues on to the small stage in the far corner of the room where her guitar, the Bellezza Bianca, awaits. She announces herself, eliciting sparse cheers and applause from the crowd before her and then she begins to play.

Her beautifully haunting music, love-infested lyrics and mature demeanor make it a surprise to anyone who learns that she is just 18 years old. More impressive than that is the fact that the singer-songwriter picked up the guitar only four years ago.

Dietz was always active in the theater growing up. In the eighth grade she starred as Anna in “The King and I,” a musical role that her mother attributes as the starting point of her music career.

“She was always a little actress,” said her mother. “She came home after that play and said, ‘I think I can sing.'”

Soon after, she picked up the guitar and began to strum songs. First using only three cords and eventually adding more.

A short time later she was begging her father for rides to Venice Beach so she could perform on the street. It was there that she caught the eye of her future mentor, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Jackson Browne.

“He gave me a twenty and I gave him a CD,” said the San Clemente native during a Starbucks interview. “Now we write and send each other Christmas cookies.”

Ever since, Dietz’s music has kept her busy. She’s played throughout Europe, won contests and acquired throngs of fans. Her MySpace music page alone has close to 18 thousand friends and her songs over a million plays.

Impressively talented and intelligent, the philosophy major, who also speaks German, describes herself as “hardworking and driven”. Dietz produces her own music and has her own business hosting professional open mic nights at venues throughout Orange County. The Saddleback College freshman records her albums out of the make-shift studio in her parents’ living room where she sets up microphones and records herself

“The songs are much sexier,” said Dietz of her most recent CD titled Jailbird. “Since I wrote my first song at 14, my music has progressed.”

The future seems promising for the porcelin skinned starlet. She is performing at The Hotel Café on March 3, a stomping ground for record producers and will be on a mini tour of Germany this summer. The self proclaimed “girl with a lot to say” looks like she will have a long time to say it.