He’s singing with a Spice Girl...but our Matt’s still a regular guy from Essex (From Essex County Standard)
Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting ECS to 80360, or email »
He’s singing with a Spice Girl...but our Matt’s still a regular guy from Essex
6:30am Thursday 25th July 2013 in News
MATT Cardle immediately throws me off guard by answering his own phone for our interview.
My tongue-in-cheek suggestion that surely by now he would have others to do that for him is met with mock disgust.
This is typical of the down-to-earth Essex-born singer, who continues to have his feet firmly on the ground, despite his music career continuing to soar, thanks to the imminent release of his duet with a former Spice Girl.
The single, Loving You, features Mel C, with whom Matt explains he ended up recording after they met up again at the Isle of Wight Festival last year.
He says: “I had first met her the year after I won X Factor. We sat through a live show together and then a friend of mine from the band Starsailor re-introduced us at the Isle of Wight.
“We talked about doing some writing together and I invited her along to the last date of the tour I was doing later that year. Then we just said ‘why don’t we do a duet together?’ I had a song in mind that I had already started working on and so we went into the studio and worked on it together to turn it into a duet.
“Mel is amazing. She is great fun and has a great sense of humour.”
It is clear he is immensely proud of the single, which had its first ever airplay on Radio 2’s Ken Bruce show earlier this month and has been chosen as his record of the week.
“They have been incredibly supportive and the song has had a really good response in general since it started being played on the radio.”
Loving You will feature on his third studio album, which will be released later this year and has yet to be named.
His debut release, Letters, went platinum and overall he has sold more than two million singles and albums combined, as well as completing four sell-out UK tours.
Things are still looking good for the former painter and decorator, who emerged the winner of the X Factor in 2010, having been the favourite from early on.
His self-effacing, shy persona, trademark scruffy hat and powerful voice quickly won him a legion of fans.
And while he is clearly delighted to be living his dream making the music he loves, fame is still something he tries to keep in perspective.
He admits he is no longer able to blend in when he returns to Essex, or for that matter, goes anywhere, but is philosophical about it.
He says: “It’s not possible to just blend in, but it’s a by-product of everything and I just try to go along with it.”
He has a typically matter-of-fact answer on how to deal with being well known. He explains: “Basically, don’t be an idiot and secondly, you shouldn’t think you are something you are not.
“We are all basically the same, whether you are Barack Obama or the bin man I can see clearing up from where I am currently sitting.”
When he split with previous record label, Columbia, in 2012, many people feared it was the end of his time at the top, comparing him to fellow winners who had not maintained success, such as Leon Jackson and Shayne Ward.
But Matt, who grew up in Little Maplestead, just outside Halstead, played down the rumours and proved the opposite was true by releasing his second album Fires, on the So What? label.
He says his success has given him more freedom within the writing process.
He explains: “The first album was a little bit more constrained. There was a lot more to consider, but since the second album I have been in full control and it has meant I have had the freedom to make decisions about who I write with and the musical instruments used and things like that.
“I am really excited about the new album. I have worked with some really great people on it and it is so different from what I have done before.”
And these are busy times with the release of the single.
He says: “It is pretty mad at the moment. We are doing lots of stuff and lots of promotion for the single, but I love it.
“It has been like this for the past three years. Every day is different.”
It means Matt, who lives in London now, does not get back to Essex as much as he would like.
But when he does, he has been known to perform at the High Barn in Great Bardfield. He was a regular there, before he got his big break, which arrived when his ex-girlfriend sent a demo of him singing to X Factor producers.
Last summer, he played a one-off fundraising gig by way of saying thanks, but he admits there are no plans as yet for a return visit.
For now, Matt, mentored by Dannii Minogue on what was to be her final year on the show, is being kept busy promoting the new single and dividing his time between London and America.
He says: “We are busy most of the time in between studios in West London and LA and there are plans for me and Mel to perform the single on television as well. I am looking forward to that. Mel is amazing and I have always admired her voice. She has been doing it a long time and she is still very professional.”
Loving You is released on August 18, followed by the album in October.
Comments are closed on this article.