The singer-songwriter was signed in a joint deal involving Simon Cowell's Syco label and Columbia Records following his X Factor win back in 2010.
However, Cardle has confessed that he asked to be released from the contract after the label was too busy promoting other acts such as One Direction.
"It was at the start of this year," Cardle told The Sun. "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."
The star is now signed to SO Recordings and will release his second studio album The Fire on October 29.
Watch the music video for Matt Cardle's new single 'It's Only Love' below: