Matt Cardle
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Matt Cardle


Band Pop Singer/Songwriter




"NEW ALBUM ‘THE FIRE’ HITS THE TOP TEN And is No.1 in Independent Albums chart"

Matt Cardle’s new album ‘The Fire’ entered the Official Album Chart at No.8 yesterday, giving the 29 year old his second Top 10 album in a year.

“I’m so, so happy,” says Cardle. “The reaction to the album has been awesome. To be in the top ten alongside so many great albums is an amazing feeling”

The follow-up to last years’ platinum-selling debut ‘Letters’, ‘The Fire’ also entered the Independent Albums Chart at No.1, an incredible start for the newly formed label So What? Recordings. The label is part of Silva Screen Music Group, to whom Cardle licensed the album earlier this year.

‘The Fire’ was written and recorded in London, Toronto and Los Angeles, and mastered at Abbey Road Studios, with Cardle handling production duties and playing the majority of the instruments himself.

‘Anyone Else’, the follow-up to current single ‘It’s Only Love’, will be released in December. - So Recordings

"news: Matt Cardle on freedom after split with Sony"

Matt chats X Factor, Gary Barlow, new-found freedom and turning 30

Matt Cardle told he felt more free and in control working on his sophomore album after splitting with Syco.
In an exclusive interview, the X Factor winner revealed: "I did feel a lot more free with album two and completely in control to write the way I wanted with who I wanted to write with. And produce the album myself and make it sound exactly how I wanted it to sound."

Despite his break with Sony, Matt said there is no bad blood with his former label or with the X Factor institution that brought him fame.

He continued: "People have said before that I slate the show - I really don't, I love it to bits.

"I think it's brilliant, but I'm not a part of that anymore. I'm not with Sony - I've signed a new deal. It's completely separate and I feel that's a good thing for me."

Watch the full interview below, where Matt also chats about Gary Barlow and what he wants to accomplish before his 30th birthday.

Matt's new album The Fire and lead single It's Only Love are both out on 29 October. Will you be buying a copy? - 4 Music

"Matt Cardle Impresses The Capital At London’s Kings Cross Scala: Matt Cardle fills 1,000 capacity venue in the heat of 'The Fire' release"

The former X Factor winner from the seventh series, yes that’s right two years ago now, is back and what welcomes him? A fully packed out venue and a pair of black undies!

It’s a modest and humble atmosphere tonight, with the odd smoke machine going and some low stage lights, but this simple production allows all the attention to be focused on the best thing that’s come out of a British talent competition; Matt Cardle.

"It’s been a journey," Matt tells the 1,000 capacity venue. And he’s right, his debut album Letters was certified gold with an estimate of 270,000 sales. Now he’s got the ball going for his second full length album The Fire due for release next week. Ahead of that release Matt is here tonight to do what he does best, sing his heart out.

At first glance Matt seems somewhat shy, looking more comfortable hiding behind his guitar. Then this mysterious man turns cheeky and charms all the ladies with ‘Anyone Else’, the sixth track off the new album. "I’ve had various women," the former X Factor champion jokes as a pair of black knickers are thrown towards him.

Matt acknowledges everyone that got him here tonight, from the fans who voted for him all those years ago to former label Syco. In appreciation of them he performs Letters, the album title track off his debut.

An obvious fan favourite already is ‘Empire’, which witnesses Matt launch in to the ridiculously catchy if not anthem-like chorus. In a previous interview Matt said "we definitely wrote [Empire] with playing that live in mind," and though the expectations were high he certainly met them. The track among others such as ‘All That Matters’ really showcase his dynamic vocal range. Matt doesn’t cease to amaze, hitting every note effortlessly.

Then there’s an unpredictable long pause. The crowd fades to silent and Matt, with a clearly emotional shaky tone in his voice, explains another new track ‘Water’ referring to "this one’s for Dickie, we all lose someone at some point but I actually lost this person, they’re not here anymore". It’s a beautiful, lighter in the air kind of moment. The track is in a higher octave revealing Matt’s undeniable vocal talent.

Thanking those who have supported him from the very start, "thank you to everyone who bought this one," Matt says introducing his debut and X Factor winning single ‘When We Collide’ a cover of Scottish rock band – Biffy Clyro’s ‘Many Of Horror’. Now most covers get their nose turned down at, but this one is special. Sure his big break came from a television talent contest but putting his singing ability to one side, Matt also has his songs instrumentation going for him; playing guitar and piano in the majority of his songs.

Another nice surprise comes in the form of his rendition of Gotye- ‘Somebody That I Use To Know’ then for a storming exit Matt closes the set with ‘It’s Only Love’ as he smiles while looking around at the room full of faces mouthing the lyrics straight back at him. - Entertainment Wise

"Is there life after major labels?"

This week the former X Factor winner Matt Cardle releases his second album, The Fire, on an independent label, having been dropped by Simon Cowell's Syco Records. Is The Fire doomed to be a damp squib, or is it possible for artists to thrive after being dumped by a major?

Dumped, but triumphed

Matt Cardle may take inspiration from the experience of David Gray. The singer-songwriter had been dropped by both Virgin and EMI in 1998 when he self-financed and released his fourth album, White Ladder. It did nothing until American singer Dave Matthews re-released it two years later on his own, independent label, ATO Records: it has since sold seven million copies.

Radiohead similarly flourished after flouncing away from EMI because they didn't like their major label's new owners. Having initially released 2007 album In Rainbows as a pay-what-you-want download, they then saw it hit number one in both Britain and the US on indie label XL. There again, unlike Matt Cardle, they were already established international superstars.

Don't forget the fans

If Cardle is to triumph as an independent artist, he will need to target his most loyal fans. Julian Cope has flourished since 1997 by eschewing major label "greedheads", as he calls them, and self-releasing his own albums, supported by emails to his small but ferociously dedicated fan base. "My albums don't chart any more," Cope has reflected, "but I make a lot more money!"

Cardle may also be encouraged by the recent performance of Ben Folds Five. Reuniting after a 13-year hiatus, the US band financed their comeback album, The Sound of the Life of the Mind, via crowd-funding (i.e. fans chipping in to help with the making of the record). Releasing it on their own ImaVeePee label but cannily "partnering" with a major, Sony, they saw it hit number 10 on the Billboard chart: their best ever showing.

Yet not only are Radiohead, Julian Cope and Ben Folds Five far more established than Matt Cardle: their post-majors success is also the exception rather than the rule. Most artists are dropped with good reason, and with no major-label marketing and publicity machine behind them, the majority subsequently sink without trace.

Hoosier think you are?

A salutary example is The Hoosiers. Having seen debut album The Trick to Life power to number one in 2007, the cocky band blamed their label, Sony, when follow-up The Illusion of Safety "only" reached number 10. Quitting the label, they re-released the record themselves under a new title, Bumpy Ride: nobody bought it, and their profile is now subterranean.

Artistic freedom or creative suicide?

As an independent-minded former metal-band singer, Matt Cardle was arguably always an awkward fit on Syco and never seemed at home there. Free from Simon Cowell's dictatorial control, he may now feel that he has more "artistic freedom" – but even this can be a double-edged sword.

Major record companies' much-maligned A&R (or "umm" and "ahh") men do play a role in developing and guiding artists: left to their own devices, even the biggest stars can mess up. Iggy Pop has recently been loudly complaining that his label, EMI, has turned down his new album of covers and French chanson, meaning he has had to release it himself. You see EMI's point: Mr Pop crooning Serge Gainsbourg and Edith Piaf falls fairly and squarely into the category of "a hard sell".

So, what will the future bring?

So he may already have a number two album under his belt – last year's debut, Letters – but realistically the odds are stacked against Matt Cardle. Yet he shouldn't despair. Countless superstars – from Alanis Morissette to Elbow – have been dropped by majors only to bounce back, and if The Fire does burn up the charts, he will find the power balance has shifted.

Cardle may even take inspiration from Trent Reznor, singer of Nine Inch Nails and an outspoken critic of record corporations. Having released his last two albums independently, Reznor has now part-relented and signed a licensing deal with a major, Atlantic, that crucially allows him to keep ownership of his own master tapes. The moral of the tale, and the bottom line of the record industry, is this: nothing succeeds like success.
- Virgin Media

"'Keano got me so drunk I woke up in a Hollyoaks girl's bedroom'"

MATT CARDLE has just finished recording his new album in LA.

Earlier this year he left Sony and is now part-funding his own chart asssault.

Biz caught up with him on his return.

YOU’RE with a new label (SO Recordings). Why did you leave Sony?

It was at the start of this year. I just wanted to be a priority — at that stage of the game I had to be. If I wasn’t, I would have rotted on Sony and nothing would have happened.

I would just have been left to get on with it while ONE DIRECTION ruled the planet. Which is brilliant for them — I’m so proud of them — but I needed to be a bit selfish. I asked Sony to let me go and they said OK.

How different is life these days?

I’m just in control and completely confident in it. The songs I’ve written are produced in the way I want them produced. When talking about (post-X Factor single) Run For Your Life, I related to the song but I didn’t like it.

I had to run around radio stations plugging the f*** out of a song I didn’t like. When I went on Radio 1 with CHRIS MOYLES I was sat there listening to it and I was kind of taking the p*** a little bit. But now they can play a song I love.

What’s the music like compared to your last album?

I wanted it to be upbeat because I think there was a general sense that I was a bit boring. I was talking to someone about it and they were saying how happy this album is compared to the last one.

When I made the last one I was in a relationship, I was falling in love, I was happy, but the album was the complete opposite. With this one, through heartbreak and absolute devastation, I’ve come out with something that is way more positive.

You recorded some tracks in LA. Did you bump into anyone famous?

I stayed at The Mondrian for a month. THE WANTED were in there — I get on with SIVA KANESWARAN quite well — and it was carnage.

And I bumped into SARAH DUNN from Hollyoaks and JODI ALBERT (former Hollyoaks star) and we ended up getting smashed.

Then I bumped into Ireland’s (LA Galaxy striker) ROBBIE KEANE randomly on one of the last days and it got really proper messy.

I’m not a massive football fan but I met him at Spurs. I went to train with them on a shoot and we just got on really well.

The first thing we do is drink about three bottles of red wine, then he took us out for a meal.

He got me up singing with the band in the restaurant and that. I covered GOTYE. I’ve got some great pictures of it, me and Robbie doing a duet. We’re f*****. The money he spent, it was sickening. Then we were in my room with Rob on the guitar, singing off his face. I woke up in Sarah Dunn’s room the next day.

Did you get any work done?

Yeah, loads. We did a lot of recording out there, we were demo-ing and recording because the facilities were brilliant.

We wrote about 12 songs out there, of which we’ve used two. There’s some that are perfect for One Direction — I don’t know what I was thinking, obviously first and foremost it’s for myself.

Do you feel the pressure to bring stuff out?

Absolutely. What’s happening with One Direction, I need to crawl out of their shadow. After The X Factor, people put words in my mouth but I’m very grateful for the show and what it’s done for me and, yeah, I’m MATT CARDLE from The X Factor and I will be for a good five or six years. WILL YOUNG’s shaking it off but that’s been a decade.

Yet when the new X Factor ad came on, the only people left off were me, SHAYNE WARD and STEVE BROOKSTEIN. But I had a platinum album and sell-out tour.

Are you looking forward to getting out and playing The Fire live?

I can’t wait because I can play at a standing gig now — I couldn’t before with the last album. They were beautiful venues and when we were doing the acoustic section it went on for about half an hour, it was perfect.

This album will sound great at a festival.

I have a lot of faith in it.
- The Sun

"The Fire: Matt Cardle's second pop-rock album - Ignored X-Factor winner goes it alone for second album of emotive pop-rock"

You have to feel for Matt Cardle. Had he won The X-Factor in any other year, then the 300,000 sales of his debut album, 'Letters,' which was only kept off the top spot by Noel Gallagher, would be considered a respectable, if not exactly earth-shattering, figure.

But not only has he had the misfortune of emerging from the same series as the biggest teen-pop phenomenon of the decade, he's also had to watch runner-up Rebecca Ferguson's first studio effort effortlessly sail to multi-platinum status and even fourth-placed contestant Cher Lloyd successfully take her mini Nicki Minaj routine across the Atlantic.

It means that he now arrives with his second album, 'The Fire,' unfairly lumbered with a similar no-hoper reputation to Steve Brookstein and Leon Jackson. Released via the small So Recordings indie label after parting company with Syco, and therefore without much in the way of high-profile promo, Cardle's fortunes are inevitably unlikely to be reversed.

Which is a shame as whilst there's little on 'The Fire' to get too excited about, it's a much more vibrant and less dreary record than his first effort. None more so than on penultimate track 'Lately,' a hugely uplifting number co-written with Starsailor's James Walsh that combines chiming indie-rock riffs, Coldplay-esque piano hooks and rousing gospel melodies to produce a slow-building grandiose epic.

Elsewhere, lead single, 'It's Only Love,' echoes the towering stadium rock of U2 at their 'The Joshua Tree'-era prime, 'For Every Heartbreak' strays into nu-folk territory with its foot-stomping rhythms and rootsy acoustic strums, while the title track even contains a Hendrix-inspired wig-out guitar solo in amongst its sweeping strings and hip-hop beats.

Having co-written all but one of its ten tracks, played most of the instruments and even helped to produce it, Cardle has obviously been handed the creative control he so craved whilst with Cowell. But there are moments when you wish he had someone else on board to occasionally reel him in, particularly on the deathly dull balladry of 'All That Matters' and 'Water' where his trademark falsetto sounds more unbearably whiny rather than angelic.

Whilst considering he's previously been so vocally keen to distance himself from his prime time TV beginnings, it's slightly odd that the album concludes with a tasteful, but little more than perfunctory, rendition of Roberta Flack's 'The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face,' as if he didn't quite have the courage to let his own material speak for itself.

'The Fire,' therefore isn't going to change his position as The X-Factor 2010's fourth most successful contestant or give him the credibility he appears to desire so badly. However, it's an encouraging step up which confirms that his talent show reject label still remains undeserved. - Yahoo

"Music-News Album Review: Matt Cardle - The Fire"

Matt Cardle has returned from what some would describe as a quiet patch, with a triumphant, emotional album, produced by Cardle himself and featuring co-writes with the likes of Eg White, Paul Statham and Steve Booker.

Cardle delivers his vocal almost faultlessly throughout (whilst sounding a bit like a mix between Alanis Morissette and Darren Hayes of Savage Garden), and the lead single It's Only Love is a simple but pumping rock ballad, which should make some impact in the charts this week. Cardle also proves he's got a grittier side with tracks like For Every Heartbreak, a guitar-lead stomping country inspired track which keeps you bopping your head throughout.

There's an emotional side to the album toward the end of the album, Lately is a powerful, poignant, choral number over a simple piano accompaniment, which crescendos into a full Take That style power ballad. Cardle leaves us with a cover of First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, showing off his easy-listening vocal with a track he performed back on the X Factor in his winning 2010 turn.

Matt Cardle manages to get away from his X Factor label with some clever original material and an interesting record, which, whilst not going to change the world, should show some people a new side to the ex-painter-decorator-done-good. -

"Matt Cardle interview: 'I'm more in control of my music'"

If you're male and an X Factor winner, tradition dictates that your chart prospects aren't exactly the brightest.

Credit to Matt Cardle then, whose post-XF debut Letters bucked the trend and reached platinum status earlier this year.

Now hoping to repeat the success later this month with new album The Fire and on a new record label, Digital Spy caught up with him to find out whether he's suffering any pre-album release nerves.

Your new album The Fire is coming out at the end of the month; were you keen to release a follow-up to Letters as quickly as possible?
"Like the first album it was never going to be out until it was ready, but I'd been writing this album as soon as I'd finished my first, and once we'd toured the record I was in the studio every day. Six months down the line the record felt finished so we thought, why not just release it as soon as possible? I can't sit around on my bum all day!"

It sounds like you had a lot more freedom on this record...
"To be honest, I'm as involved as I was before X Factor as I've produced the whole thing this time as well. During my last album I was very fussy when it came to the mixing process! It was difficult - I ended up rubbing a few people up the wrong way. I was equally obsessed with this record though; you live and breathe it for a long time and you want to make sure it's right. It was a real labour of love."

You've parted ways with Columbia Records; what's it like being on a smaller label?
"I feel a lot more in control these days, but nothing has massively changed behind the scenes or anything. I want to have a fair amount of say again in how things were going to go - not total control obviously as the label are there to help with the things you have no idea about!"

You're releasing the LP the same week as its lead single 'It's Only Love'; why did you take that approach?
"It's getting on in the year and there's a lot of music coming out this Christmas, so I wanted to get it out as soon as possible. Hopefully people will take a punt on the album if they like the single enough. There's not enough time left this year to tease people with bits and pieces from the record."

Are you pleased with the response to the single?
"I'm over the moon with the response it's had. I don't think it's what people were expecting, although that wasn't a deliberate move. I was never planning to do anything completely off the wall! All the songs are about what's been going on in my life, particularly the breakup of my relationship and working through it, so it's very honest and straight from the heart. I've played as many instruments on the record as I can except some of the strings."

We're getting big '80s power-ballad vibes from it...
"I love that it turned out that way, because it wasn't what we were planning at all! It was only after we made it that someone commented that it sounded '80s. That big sound seems to run through the album as well; the more we added instruments the louder and louder it got. Obviously there are a few stripped back numbers on there as well."

Is it difficult performing those stripped back songs live when they're about a painful breakup?
"The first few times I sang it there were tears as the whole thing was still very fresh. It's still quite raw, but eventually you have to detach yourself from it. Hopefully it'll get easier by the time we go on tour."

What song are you most keen for fans to hear on the album?
"I'm particularly proud of a song called 'Lately'. It developed from a piano riff that I put together years ago, but I could never find the right melody and lyrics to fit it. Eventually I sat down with (Starsailor's) James Walsh and we tried a Massive Attack-style melody, which seemed to work, and over six months the song just grew and grew. There's a great bit at the end where it really kicks off with a violin - I really love it."

You toured extensively with Letters. Looking back, were you pleased with how the album turned out?
"I was so happy with the way Letters sold and the reaction to it. To shift that many copies in this day and age was incredible. The tour sold out as well - we did 23 dates and it was honestly the best time of my life. I can't wait do it all over again."

Are you watching this year's X Factor?
"I've watched a few clips of it on YouTube but I haven't had the time to sit down and commit to watching full episodes. I've enjoyed what I've seen though."

We know you're good mates with Aiden Grimshaw; are you a fan of his album Misty Eye?
"I think it's a really great album - there are some amazing songs on there! He released it at a time when no-one was buying music in the summer, and it deserved to do better. We're both super busy but I still see him as much as I can - he's a good lad!" - Digital Spy



Letters - 14th October 2011
The Fire - 29th October 2012



Matt Cardle is the happiest he has ever been - don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. He’s got a platinum selling debut album - ‘Letters’ - under his belt and a sold out arena tour to his name. In the last six months he has spent four weeks living in LA, the same again in Toronto, Canada and the rest on home soil doing what he loves best - writing and recording music.

The enthusiasm for his craft is shining through. He has a passion for the new songs that only comes from a man who is proud of what he is delivering.

“I genuinely have so much faith in it,” he says lifting his famous cap and ruffling his hair. “I know I can talk about every single song with confidence, because it's personal experience. I've actually come into myself completely. There was stuff on ‘Letters’ that was very current, but with this album it's in the moment. From LA to Canada and back home.”

This isn’t a teenager who has found fame overnight. This is a man approaching the big 3-0 and he’s not struggling for rock’n’roll anecdotes about his twenties. He’s more in control of his musical destiny than ever before. With a new deal with independent label So What? Recordings, he’s taking a forensic interest in every step of the process this time around.

“I feel in control and I’m completely confident in the album,” he says. “It’s my songs that I've written, and I’ve produced in the way that I want them produced. If you're on stage and you're singing a song that you don't feel and you haven't written, its just lies.”

“Making ‘Letters’ I was in a relationship, I was falling in love, I was happy, but the album was the complete opposite,” continues Cardle. “With this one, through heartbreak and absolute devastation I've come out with something that is way more positive.”

An experienced live performer with a sold-out 23 date tour behind him, this album has been written with the live performances very much in mind. “It won’t be a plod. This will have shape and a dynamic – I can’t wait to get out and give it a go live.”

His stall is set out from the start with his unmistakable vocal on opener ‘It’s Only Love’.
Co-written with Paul Statham, the man behind Dido’s ‘Hear With Me.’

“The vocal comes straight in and it's big, it's like ‘We're back!’, says Matt. “You've got to come out swinging and that’s what this song is all about.”

Title track ‘The Fire’ follows, another huge track which sounds like ‘Thank You’ by Alanis Morissette meets The Verve’s ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony.’

‘For Every Heartbreak’, written with trusted collaborator Steve Booker (Adele, Duffy),
is another example of Matt’s honest lyrics from the relationships that haven’t survived. He sings ‘I have no fear/I feel sick inside the times I have you near. The pain inside is enough to remind me I don't need you here.’

Matt holds his hands up, “Again it relates to the career situation and the situation with my ex-girlfriend. When I left Sony it was like ‘is this it?’ But hopefully it's just the beginning of something that is much better than what was previously. Not that previous was bad, I’m really proud of ‘Letters’, but you're constantly just striving to do better, be better.”

‘Anyone Else’ he believes is the most pop-heavy track on the album. “It's basically about not being able to make up my mind whether I want to sleep around or not! If you're a dancer you can probably move to it, it's got a good feel to it.”

‘Lately’, a co-write with Starsailor’s James Walsh, could only come from the chemistry of a writing partnership that has excelled through friendship.

“We just thought because of the sound of the track and the feel of it, it would be something positive. It’s the only track with James on the album, but it was one that I just loved.”

With ‘All That Matters’ Matt reveals the first song he has written on piano. He says: “I’m Grade One piano if I’m lucky! I thought about getting my Tele out, but because that song is so emotional, so raw, it needs to be piano. And it was written on piano. I started writing it when I split from my ex and it just fell out of me.”

‘Empire’ came after a wild night in LA with former Spurs striker Robbie Keane. Cardle’s a man who believes he writes best with a hangover -and this could be proof of his theory.

“This was the first song that was upbeat after my girlfriend and I had split. It’s about losing love, losing my faith”, he says. “But after I'd been in LA for a bit, and I realised there was a whole world out there to enjoy again.”

The delicacy and emotion in ‘Water’ is a tearjerker of a track, marking a change of pace on the album. “It's just a straight up song about loss. I've listened to tracks and one sentence has made sense to me, and then the whole song becomes about it. I think if you've lost anyone, mother, brother, father, daughter whatever, as long as there is a mention of it in there, then the song can do that.”

‘Anywhere’, written with Ben Earle, is channeling a bit of the Paul Simon spiri