Essex boy, Matt Cardle, is back with a new album – his third in as many years. The 30-year-old former X Factor star spoke to Kaye Holland about music, Mel C and why James Arthur should stop mouthing off
Hi Matt. Thanks for taking the time to speak to me today. It’s a pleasure.
Congratulations on the new album, Porcelain. How would you describe its sound? That's a difficult one. It’s very diverse - Porcelain was written in LA, New York and London. It’s my third album and I’d say it’s spilled over from both of the first two albums really. There's a lot of different styles on the album and I've been writing with loads of different artists [these include multi-platinum selling writer/producer Toby Smith (ex-Jamiroquai) and 16 time Grammy Award nominee, US superstar Brian McKnight]. I’d probably say that it’s lot more positive that my past albums – one of which basically documented the breakdown of a relationship – as I’m generally in a happier place. It’s also more honest – I produced it myself again and I play all the instruments, bar the violin.
What’s your favourite track off Porcelain? Well of course, I like them all – and I love each one on its own merits. But a particular stand out for me is In Chains [the album’s opening song].
Do you know what the third single you will be releasing off the album is? It’s a secret right now but I’ll be announcing it a in a few weeks time. My next single might not even be a track off the album…
What songs, by other artists, are you loving in the charts right now? I love The Monster, Eminem’s new single with Rihanna. I actually just bought Eminem’s new album The Marshall Mathers LP 2 and it’s incredible.
You shot to fame when you won the seventh season of The X Factor (beating One Direction). Are you watching the show this season? I’m not. Honestly I’ve just been too busy - I’ve been back and forth from the States - and haven’t been home enough to be in watching the show on a Saturday and Sunday night. Plus I’ve just bought a place and haven’t got the TV sorted yet…
Speaking of The X Factor last year’s victor, James Arthur, has been mouthing off a lot about you (and other acts) in the press. Is there really a feud between you two or is it all tabloid fodder? We’re not friends and we definitely don’t see eye to eye. He’s constantly bad mouthing me (and other artists) – he’s such an angry person. But listen, I don’t want to keep going on about it and giving him more air time.
Ok so there is obviously no camaraderie between you and James but do you still keep in touch with anyone from your series of The X Factor? Yeah, yeah. I made a lot of great friends on The X Factor. I’m still in touch with the biggest boy band on the planet – One Direction – and caught up recently with Niall when he was in Australia. I’m also in touch with Dannii Minogue - I love that woman to bits – and Aiden (Grimshaw).
And you recently collaborated with Mel C. How was that? Amazing. Mel's a legend and it was a real honour to be able to work with her. I’ve always been a fan of her voice. We had a lot of fun recording and filming the single Loving You.
Was the collaboration strictly professional? (Romance rumours have surrounded the pair since they teamed up for Loving You). There is nothing going on. I have a lot of love for Mel but she’s not my girlfriend. We knew when we duetted that this [media speculation that the pair are an item] would happen - we are both single.
Who else would you like to collaborate with? You know there are lots of artists that I’d love to collaborate with but I’ve never planned any of my collaborations and I am happy to keep it like that. I quite like seeing what opportunities arise and going with the flow.
You’re going to be touring with this album... Yes we've got a tour lined up – The Porcelain Tour - and I’m really looking forward to it. We’ll play 18 dates across the UK and Ireland next year. I always enjoy performing at the Hammersmith Apollo and Manchester Apollo, but this time we have added some new venues to the line-up like the Shepherds Bush Empire. I love playing live because that’s where people can see you for who you are. I get a great buzz when I see how much my music means to people.
In your down time, do you hang out with The Only Way Is Essex crowd being an Essex boy and all? No – I don’t really know that lot. I’m from Colchester, which is probably closer to Suffolk.
I heard that you’re a Spurs fan – do you go to the games? Yes Spurs is definitely my favourite football team, but I’m not the biggest football fan. The sport I really love is skateboarding. I got into skateboarding when I was about 12 and have been obsessed ever since.
What’s next for Matt Cardle? A holiday, I hope! I haven’t had one in three years. I love snowboarding and used to go snowboarding in Switzerland every year but have been a bit busy in recent years!
Matt’s third album, Porcelain, is out now. Tickets for The Porcelain Tour, which kicks off in April 2014, are on sale here