Monday, May 27

Interview: X Factor winner Matt Cardle

- October 16, 2012

X Factor winner Matt Cardle is back with his second album and a new sound. Break-ups in both his personal life and professional career have taken his music to a new level, and the star is now taking more risks, as he tells Latest 7

Since winning The X Factor back in 2010, Matt Cardle has done a full circle. The 29 year old has a platinum-selling debut album, Letters, changed record companies and has produced and written his upcoming album, The Fire. But, this time round, it’s a much more honest affair.

“Across the board, it’s gone absolutely fantastically,” says Cardle, whose second album is released on 28 October. The Fire sees Cardle go back to what he knows best; producing the album personally, as well as playing most of the instruments. “It was much nicer being in control as much as I was,” he says. “This was how I wrote and produced all of my albums before The X Factor, so I didn’t feel out of my comfort zone and I didn’t feel freaked out in any way. It was just a very natural process.”

The X Factor
Furthermore, the album also shows a very personal side to Cardle. He explains: “It’s prominently about the break-up of my relationship earlier this year. It was tough and I was going through all that while I was writing the album. Things went wrong and drastically wrong at times, so it’s almost like a little diary of that to be fair but in a very uplifting kind of way.”

Cardle has also developed a much rockier sound to his album, which he said coincided with his change in appearance: “The change in sound is also similar to why the looks changed as I’m getting closer to myself and getting back to what I do and what I’ve always done. Just everything’s a bit more honest really.”

‘It’s Only Love’ will be the first single to be released off the album. Talking about the choice, Matt says: “I wanted to come back out with something really upbeat and something really driving. I just thought it was a great choice for the first single. “The reaction to it so far has been amazing, really, really amazing. We went to shoot the video in LA and I hope that it gets a good reaction too.”

On the road
Prior to the album’s release, Cardle will embark on a short UK tour, which begins at the Birmingham Institute on 21 October, coming to the Concorde 2, Brighton, on 22 October, before finishing with an album launch show at The Scala in London on 23 October.

“I’m excited and nervous at the same time! But I just cannot wait to get back on stage with the band and see how the songs translate on stage live,” says Cardle about the performances.

He also says how grateful he is to his fans, as well as mentioning a bigger tour is on the way: “I want to say thank you so much to everyone’s who’s supported me and continues to. I hope they love the single, I hope they love the new album and I hope to see them on this little tour and hopefully later on, on the big tour.”

Despite winning The X Factor in 2010, Cardle has been too busy to watch the current series of The X Factor, though he has been able to catch up on the programme. He’s currently backing Ella Henderson from Lincolnshire: “I think she’s amazing and I did have a bit of a chuckle at that Rylan guy.”

In April this year, Matt performed at the Sunday Mail Young Scot Awards, celebrating the work of some inspirational young people. The star was honoured to be there: “I thought it was great, It’s always a pleasure to be at anything that is supporting a good cause and it certainly is a good cause, the Young Scot awards. I genuinely think young people get too much bad press these days, I’ve been on the receiving end of it myself, and to see the youngsters getting praised for all the good work that they do, it’s a wonderful thing.”

Since then, it has been a busy year leading up to the release of The Fire: “I spent over a month in LA writing the second album. We did some of it out there, we did some of it in Canada and in London before I went out there and came back to London and finished it off. It’s gone superb, I can’t wait to get it out there and can’t wait for people to hear it. It’s so much different than the other album. I’ve had so much more control over this album, and I’m really excited.”

Regaining control
When asked more about his decision to change record labels, Matt is very confident in his choice: “The reason I went with So is that I managed to retain full control over everything and I didn’t quite get that with Sony. The other major labels that were interested, they were offering a similar thing to Sony, and I really wanted to have as much control as I could. So offered just as much support in every other way than a major label would be but I get to have that control which I plan to keep.”

By having more control, Matt’s second album is set to differ in many ways from his first album Letters: “All the songs on The Fire are very, very different from each other. There is a great mix of songs on there, a great mix of styles and sounds.”

Matt has come a long way from winning The X Factor in 2010 to now being able to have full reign over his music: “It’s taken my career up to the next level. I mean, I was always a singer-songwriter musician and now I’m a professional one and everything is going brilliantly. The first album went superb and the tour was awesome, it sold out, and now I’ve changed labels and I’ve got more control. I think it can work for some people and maybe not as well for others. It’s a risk – it’s always a risk but than again if you don’t take risks you never get anywhere.”
Matt Cardle, Monday 22 October, Concorde 2, 7pm, £22.50,

Words: Samantha Coombes

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