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Music Interview

Matt Cardle interview: 'I don't want next album to be overproduced'

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Matt Cardle
He may have been given a hard time by the press since his X Factor win, but Matt Cardle appears to be having the last laugh, as this week he celebrates his debut album Letters going platinum with over 300,000 sales. Can we presume that the male XF winner's curse is finally over?

Pushing ahead with the release of his new single 'Amazing' - which will be bundled into an EP with new material - Digital Spy caught up with Matt to chat about album number two, topping The Guardian's 'Best Music of 2011' lists and Frankie Cocozza's current stint in Celebrity Big Brother.

Congratulations on the success of your album. Now that it's been out for a few months, how have you found the whole experience?
"It's been really enjoyable. It's been full-on, but you can't let it lie. It won't sell itself, so you've got to keep pushing it. It's been super busy, but it's the kind of busy I wanted it to be."

Why have you decided to release 'Amazing' as your new single?
"We just thought it was the right thing to do. The video for it is out at the moment and it looks great. It's just the right kind of vehicle to get the sentiment of the song across. It's really emotional, but it's good."

It's being released as part of a new EP - what else can we expect on the collection?
"We've re-recorded a new version of 'The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face' because that went down really well on The X Factor. There's also a track that didn't make the album called 'All Is Said' that I wrote with James Walsh from Starsailor and Elliot James. It's a great track and it was a shame that we couldn't have had a bigger album because I really wanted it to go on there. 'Slowly' live from Koko is on there too - it's a good bunch of songs."

It seems EPs are becoming more and more popular - do you have any plans to release more in the future or is this just a one-off?
"We'll definitely be doing some more EPs in the future. Whenever you put a single out there are other unreleased songs that you want to get out and an EP is the perfect vehicle for them."

One Direction, Cher Lloyd and Rebecca Ferguson have also had huge success, but do you get frustrated with people who compare and criticise your sales without knowing the facts?
"It's different kind of music. Cher and One Direction's releases were pure pop and their first tracks were amazing; absolute pop perfection. I'm not that, as I'm not a pop kind of person. It's historically always been harder to sell an alternative style of music because you have to appeal to musos who are not as easily convinced. We've all had amazing sales and if you look at any of us away from The X Factor in the current climate, we all did well. I'm absolutely over the moon that Letters is about to go platinum and wish everyone else all the best."

Last year Digital Spy forum members got you to the top of two of The Guardian's 'Best Music of 2011' lists - how did you react when you found out the news?
"I was absolutely astounded and very thankful to everyone who got behind me and made that happen. I don't think I was even on the shortlist, but then they hoiked me up to the number one spot. I thought that was amazing and I just want to thank them."

Matt Cardle


You begin your UK tour in March. What can we expect from the shows?
"I want to put in a great show. It's a rock band essentially, but we will be having a big acoustic section to the show. There will be some of the favourite covers from The X Factor and some of the stuff that I've done throughout the last year. I'm with a good bunch of mates and I've been working with these guys for a long, long time. We've formed a band out of it, so it will be a great vibe on stage."

Have you continued to work on new music since finishing Letters?
"I'm in the studio at the moment and I write all the time. I do it because sometimes you just don't get the opportunity to perform as much as you want to and so I have my studio at home that I'm always in."

Does that mean we can expect a second album in the near future?
"Absolutely, yeah. It's more a question of when and where. For the next record I want to change it up and strip it back a little bit. It may not be as produced as some of the tracks on Letters and just a bit more honest."

What lessons have you learned from your first album that you would want to change when releasing your second LP?
"I'd like to grab the reins a little bit more. I had a lot of creative control over the first album, but as far as production goes, maybe that was a little bit out of my hands. I want to be involved 100% in the process, right from the ideas to the mastered album."

Have you ever thought about re-recording some of your older material and releasing it?
"Yeah, I have thought about it. There's one track from one of my old albums called 'Way To Be' that has just as many YouTube hits as 'Starlight' has, which is not ideal because I'm also trying to push 'Starlight'! But it means that track has had a lot of interest and there's no reason why I can't re-record it. It's my song at the end of the day."

Have you been watching Frankie Cocozza on Big Brother? Do you think it's the right move for a singer in his position to go on a show like Big Brother?
"No, I haven't! It really depends on what he wants to do after that - whether he wants to be a TV personality or a musician who writes songs and creates albums. It's all up in the air for him at the moment, I think. He needs to decide exactly where he wants to place himself."

Is it something you would ever consider doing?
"I know I've done one, but that's the last one I'm doing hopefully! I'm a musician and I always have been since I was 11 and that's what I want to do for a career. I'm less about being a TV personality and more about being an artist."

Matt Cardle's new 'Amazing' EP will be available to download from February 19.

Watch the music video for Matt Cardle's 'Amazing' below:

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