Former boy band member loses interest in limelight
ROCKY boy Zach Russell has given up fame and fortune to pursue his dream of becoming a firefighter.
The 2012 X Factor contestant shot to pop stardom when he and four other contestants on the TV show were teamed up by judges to become boy band The Collective.
The group finished third and signed with Sony Music Australia.
Zach was thrilled to be travelling the world and performing live with his fellow band members, Trent Bell, Julian De Vizio, Jayden Sierra and Will Singe.
But when it came to having a lengthy career in the limelight, the 24-year-old knew his heart wasn't in it.
Zach announced his decision to leave the band on Twitter to his 78,000 followers last week.
He admitted to The Morning Bulletin working in the music industry wasn't his dream, revealing he even hated having his photos taken.
"I just sort of fell into it," he said.
"If I was to stay in (the band) it wouldn't be fair to the boys. They were understanding. I'm older and I've got different goals."
Despite being an overnight singing sensation, Zach's dreams are just like most other people's.
Although he is now working at DC Motors, in the next few years he plans to get married, have a family, and start his career as a firefighter.
He is still dating Katrina Risteska, who, along with Zach's brother Aaron, was also a contestant on the X Factor in 2012.
"I've wanted to be a firefighter for a long time," Zach said.
"I think it's really a good job to have for a family man."
But he will always be thankful for his experiences while in the band, and he refuses to warn anyone off becoming a singer.
"If you want to do it, do it," Zach said.
"You don't know what you're in for until you're doing it. Nothing can prepare you for the job."
Singing isn't totally gone from his life, with Zach saying he'd perform the "odd gig".
But a content Zach said, at the end of the day, "Rocky's my home and Rocky will probably always be my home".