SELINSGROVE — Jaron Hamil is a singing sensation at Selinsgrove Area High School, and thanks to YouTube he’s caught the ear of producers of the Fox Television talent competition, The X Factor.
“It’s amazing,” said Hamil, 16, of the attention he’s received just a year after he began posting his homemade music videos online.
He admits dreaming of becoming the next teen superstar like Justin Bieber or Austin Mahone, but had no lofty expectations.
Then last Thursday, a scout from The X Factor show featuring Simon Cowell contacted Hamil via Facebook and inquired if he would be interested in sending an audition video.
Hamil responded promptly and the next day received a phone call from a producer of the show who liked what he heard and invited the sophomore to audition in person on May 21 in Charleston, South Carolina.
There’s just one hitch. Hamil, who moved from Texas to the Valley with his parents, Jerry and Michele Hamil, last year, needs to raise $2,300 for travel expenses.
Helping him get the word out is one of his fans, high school librarian Laurie Knetter.
“All the kids are nuts about Jaron,” she said. “I’ve heard him sing and seen his videos and I compare him to Justin Timberlake.”
Knetter added, “He’s better than Bieber.”