Matt Cardle talks to JMU Journalism

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Matt Cardle

When a shy, nervous Matt Cardle entered the X Factor as a painter and decorator looking for his big break in the music industry, he could not have envisaged how his life was about to change.

In 2010, more people tuned in to the X Factor final to see Matt walk away with the winner’s crown than watched Prince William marry Kate Middleton last spring.

In an exclusive interview with JMU Journalism, the Essex boy talks about life after the TV talent show and why returning to Liverpool, on his first solo tour, is so special to him.

After having some time out of the limelight, Matt is now taking his music on the road and told JMU Journalism how much he is looking forward to playing at the Philharmonic in Liverpool.

Speaking quietly to rest his voice for the tour, the singer said: “I can’t wait to come to Liverpool, my dad is Scouse, so I have good ties and connections with the city, so it’ll be good for me to come back, it’ll be like a homecoming gig for me really.”

This time last year, the 28-year-old was playing to sold-out arenas with the X Factor Live show, but his solo tour sees him playing in smaller venues. This doesn’t bother him, however, as the platinum-selling
artist feels he has the ability to shine in both settings: “I held up brilliantly when I got feedback from the O2 and MEN Arenas but I think my acoustic stuff is better
in theatres.”

He added: “I wanted a nice-sized crowd to start off with, just a couple of thousand people to play for at first. The tour will just be a rock show basically, with a
big acoustic section for the fans who like that kind of stuff and it will just be me, rocking out with my band.”

After beating Liverpool’s Rebecca Ferguson to the million pound record deal in front of a TV audience of 18 million people, Matt shot to the Number One spot with a cover of Biffy Clyro hit, ‘When We Collide’
and spent almost a year writing and recording before he returned with his album ‘Letters’ last October.

“My life has changed so drastically, but in a way I’ve always wanted it to ever since I was in school,” he said. “People are finally taking my voice and writing seriously and I’m loving it. It’s always a worry that fans won’t like my music after X Factor, but I just have to keep doing what I’m doing and hope they like it.”

Matt is now in the middle of his second album and in February released his EP ‘Amazing’ which he said was a great experience to record: “There’s a lot to be said for EP’s because the fans get more for their money because there’s more tracks on it rather than just a single with a B-side. I’m in the middle of writing and recording my second album too, it’s brilliant, so different to ‘Letters’. We’re always trying to push the sound, it’s going to be amazing.”

But as someone who has admitted he believes his success was down to “slipping in through the back door via a talent show” to make it in the industry, does Matt think it’s hard to break away from the X Factor stereotype? “Sometimes,” he admitted. “I constantly try to improve myself and my songwriting and just hope that people like my music.

“Credibility is very important to me and I think writing my own music and holding it together live is all I can do,” said Matt, who comes to the Philharmonic Hall on March 14th.

About Erin McLoughlin, Website Editor