In 2010, he made headlines when he was crowned the winner of the X Factor. Three years on and Matt Cardle is back with his third album and a new single with a Spice Girl – now that’s something not every Essex boy can say!
Having just announced the title of his third album Porcelain, and making it into the top 10 with his single Loving You with Melanie Chisholm (aka Sporty Spice), you’d think that Matt would be on top of the world.
But when I caught up with the singer recently, he admitted that he still gets those ‘pre-song nerves’.
“I’m always nervous whenever I release something new,” he says of his latest single Loving You. “But I have faith in the song. I’m really proud of it. And Mel C has been absolutely wicked.”
Meeting Mel C at a festival, Matt tells me the pair hit it off instantly and began brainstorming song ideas. However, it’s not just the song that has received attention from the media.
With a steamy video accompanying the single, Matt has had to deny rumours of a relationship with the former Spice Girl. However, he confesses he insisted on ‘rehearsing’ their kissing scenes.
“I made sure that happened!” he laughs. “Honestly though, it was all quite natural really. When you’ve got to perform, you just do it and we’re both professionals. But I’d love to work with her again.”
A former painter and decorator from Halstead, Matt found fame on the X Factor when he impressed viewers with his scruffy hat and shy persona – as well as his faultless vocals.
However, reports began to emerge of bad feelings between the show and the singer after a recent television advert publicising the new series ‘shunned’ Matt, excluding him as being one of the many ‘success stories’ from the talent series.
“Maybe they ran out of time? I don’t know,” shrugs Matt. “All I can say on the matter is that the public voted me to win and it was the most watched series they’ve ever had.
“I still look back on the show fondly – it really was the best time of my life,” adds the singer, who turned 30 this year. “I auditioned for the show in March 2010, so it takes up about 10 months of your life, which is a long time.”
Indeed, the show certainly gave Matt the boost he needed, thrusting him out of open mic nights and into the spotlight. Since then, the singer/songwriter has sold over two million singles and albums combined, plus four sell out tours, which included dates in Southend.
Now though, Matt is focussed on his latest album Porcelain.
“I know it sounds like a cliché, but every album is a bit of a journey for everyone. Personally I base my music on my life so every album gets better,” he says. “You’ve got to think of them as a step forward.
Sometimes they might be a step to the left or the right, but they’re never back.
“Lyrically the album is more positive than my last one. In The Fire my relationship was falling apart and I’m always influenced by what’s going on around me, so that’s what that album was focussed on.
“Now I genuinely feel at peace with everything in my life and I think that’s come across in the album,” he continues. “I’ve experimented with it a lot vocally and sort of surrounded myself with guitars and bass and all sorts of weird instruments. Hopefully people will like it.”
Well, if his work with Mel C is anything to go by, I’m sure we’ll love it!
Porcelain is released on 28 October. For more details, visit mattcardlemusic.com or follow Matt on twitter @matt_cardle_uk