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ello Matt! Was it a big step leaving Columbia Records? What factors led to your decision to part ways?
It didn’t feel like a big step, it felt like a natural progression. I wanted as much control over my next record as possible so it felt like the right thing to do. There was no drama, it was just business.
Your second record ‘The Fire’ is due for release on October 29th, Was the writing and recording different to your prior experiences with Columbia?
Yes, I had complete freedom with regards to who I chose to write with, how the album would sound, which tracks would make the album… I played the majority of the instruments too this time round. I’m very aware I’m sounding like a control freak, but I felt I had to be a little bit with this!
‘The Fire’ is due to be released a mere twelve months after your debut LP “Letters”. On top of touring and the rest, that is very a quick turn around for a new album. How did you do it? Has this record been the works for a while?
I’m writing all the time. Pretty much as soon as I released Letters last October I began writing for this new album. I’ve probably only had about 5 days off since August 2011! My relationship ended early this year and that ultimately gave me loads to write about.
For fans of your previous record, what should people expect from the new album?
The Fire is definitely more upbeat. It sounds cliché but it’s also way more honest. I was in such a whirlwind after winning the show. With this album I’ve really had time to think about my sound and the direction I want to go in.
You also produced your new record yourself. Was this a new experience for you?
It wasn’t really as I had done this with albums I was working on prior to entering the X Factor. It was so nice to be at the helm again!
Unlike other former X-Factor contestants (and winners) you write your own songs and play them too. Do you ever get frustrated that perhaps that isn’t recognised in your releases?
I think people are starting to see that I’m a songwriter now. Certainly with the release of It’s Only Love. It’s nice that it’s being recognised.
When you originally came into the public eye you became famous for wearing your signature hat. You’ve got to let us know, did you have to remove it from your wardrobe or does the cap still live on?
Haha! the cap had to go! It was time to move on from that… I’ll leave that in 2010 & 2012. It’s a new era!
Your very first single was a cover of a Biffy Clyro song “ Many Of Horror”. If you had the chance again, is there another song from any artist which you’d been keen on doing your own rendition of?
I think I got away lightly to be honest. Some of the songs that have been chosen for previous winners haven’t been ideal. I felt relieved to have been given such a great song. I just apologise for the key and name change!
When first appearing on the X-Factor live shows, did you ever feel that you were perhaps an unlikely winner due to your singer-songwriter background?
I never expected to win. It was a huge surprise to me, I thought One Direction had it in the bag to be honest!
After previously working in bands have you ever been tempted to go back to your old roots and attempt a band focused side project?
Not really. I’ve been there and done that. It’s nice to get my new band together when we go out on the road, but otherwise I’m pretty happy staying solo.
There has been a lot of talk about the future of music talent shows and if they still have a future. Being a previous winner during their height of their popularity do you feel they will continue to have as big an impact on the music industry as they do today?
I don’t think it’s going to last forever but these shows, although the ratings are down, are still pulling in huge audiences – and they are record buying audiences.
For a musician who has sold over two million records and reached the coveted Christmas no.1 slot, what other goals do you still wish to achieve in your career?
Just to keep on writing and releasing albums and of course plenty of touring!
With your new album out soon, when can we catch you on tour?
I’m doing three album launch shows in Birmingham, 21 Oct – Brighton, 22 Oct – London, 23 Oct so come on down!
Matt Cardle’s “The Fire” is out now
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