1-13-14 W.Va. native makes mark on ‘The X Factor’

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CHARLESTON (AP) — Things can change drastically in the matter of a few months.

Just ask Colton Pack.

The 19-year-old Danese native had been grinding away, working on his music while planning on attending Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn.

But mid-2013, his mother pestered him to submit an audition video to a TV reality show, The X-Factor.

He complied, and he must be glad he did. He’s now a part of the up-and-coming country music trio Restless Road — and bound for even more success.

Restless Road came in fourth place in the most recent season of X-Factor.

“So much has changed,” Pack said. “There’s so much going on now. I’ve realized that anything can happen.”

Pack graduated from Midland Trail High School in 2012, a year early, to shift his pursuit toward a career in music into high gear.

“I had been going to Nashville for about two and a half years now, writing songs and working,” he said. “But this came along and gave me an opportunity.

“I’m from a small town. It’s hard to make a name for yourself.”

X Factor judge and producer Simon Cowell has had a lot to do with Pack’s journey thus far. The Brit, known for his ruthless critiques of performers on X Factor and also as part of his former gig on American Idol, will certainly have a hand in the future of the band as well. Cowell gave Pack and his bandmates a “verbal commitment” to get Restless Road a record deal.

The guys plan to head to Nashville soon to talk to a label and, potentially, move there permanently.

Cowell saw potential in Pack, along with Andrew Scholz and Zach Beeken. Each had been eliminated from the X-Factor “Boys” category as solo acts.

But a spot in the Cowell-mentored “Group” category was open, and Restless Road was born.

If this plot sounds familiar, it’s for good reason.

Cowell joined a quintet of solo boys on the British version of X Factor into a group about three years ago, one that most people now have heard of _ One Direction.

“We’ve been compared to them a lot,” Pack said. “Now we’re in the same boat. We had a chance to meet them already. It’s crazy how much success they’ve had in only three years.

“I’d love to have that same kind of success,” he added. “But we also know how much hard work there is involved in that. We’re definitely ready for it.

“We’ve received a lot of positive feedback, a lot of it coming from people already in the business. It’s incredible that those people even know who you are.”

Pack has a vision for the future of Restless Road.

“We have an opportunity to do something that hasn’t been done in country music _ to have a group of 18- and 19-year-olds starting out together as a group,” he said. “We have the potential to reach a wide audience.

“I’d love to be doing a world tour,” he added. “I can see that in our future. We’re definitely a country group; that’s our roots. But I’d like for us to be a crossover act ultimately.”

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