Interview: Matt Cardle

MATT CARDLE may have won The X Factor, but does he know his physics from his philosophy? KATIE FORSTER finds out.

Matt Cardle beat One Direction and Cher Lloyd to claim victory in the 2010 final of The X Factor. But now it’s time for the real challenge – how will he fare in The Tab‘s test of his subject knowledge? Read on and find out…

Bio NatSci: You used to be in a band called Darwyn. Do you miss being part of a band or are you glad the ‘natural selection’ of The X Factor took place?

I like what you did there. I didn’t feel alone when I was making this album, because I was working with other writers and I have a band playing with me now. When I’m doing interviews and promotion though, I’m on my own. I prefer it that way because I can be a bit of a control freak.

English: Your first album was called Letters. Have you ever written a love letter?

Yes I have, and that was partly the reason behind calling the album Letters. Each song in my lyric book looked like a roughly written letter to someone, like to a girl if I’d done something wrong – or right! – or if I wanted something that I didn’t have. But I’ve written more apology letters than love letters recently… just for being a useless idiot.

Phys NatSci: Your new album is called The Fire. What can we expect from it?

It’s all very upbeat and uplifting, but sonically all the songs are very different. Some can be quite gospel-y in places, others are very rocky, very raw. I think it’s great! It’s out on the 29th October.

Geography: Do you consider yourself an Essex lad?

Of course I do. I’ve been living in Fulham in London for the last year and a half, so I’m almost a Londoner now. But I’ll always be an Essex boy. I don’t watch The Only Way is Essex though, that’s not the part of Essex I come from. I’m from the countryside in northern Essex.

Philosophy: You can sing, play the guitar, and paint walls. Is there anything you Kant do?

Erm, I can’t play football very well.

Music: Would you rather listen to Katy Perry or Mozart for inspiration?

Mozart. One of my favourite pieces of music in the world is Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings. But I couldn’t name track three on the Mozart first album, you know what I mean? I don’t know anything like that. Like, what was Mozart’s first single? I’m not sure…


History: When did you decide you wanted to be a singer?

When I was very little I’d sing along with the theme tunes of cartoons and my mum says I was always very in tune. Around the age of eight I listened and sung along to Michael Jackson a lot, and I decided that that’s what I wanted to do.

Engineering: Do you ever feel your music is too ‘engineered’?

No, I think a lot more engineering went on in the last album than on this album. It’s better that way. This album is a lot more honest, a lot looser.

MML: Do you have fans in any other countries?

I have fans all over the place. I regularly get tweets of support from people in Mexico, Portugal, Poland, asking me to go out there. I do speak a tiny little bit of French.

Maths: What’s your favourite type of pi?

Wheey! I don’t mind a good fish pie.

Politics: Are you interested in politics?

I couldn’t be less interested in politics if I tried. Sorry, that’s a rubbish answer, but it’s the truth.

History of art: Do people still go on about your previous career as a painter and decorator?

I was never really a decorator; I was just doing some painting to earn some money. The next thing I knew I was ‘Matt Cardle, the painter and decorator’ and all my mates were like, ‘What the hell have you been saying?’. I was a bit of a shit painter at the time to be honest. You wouldn’t really want me touching your walls.

Medicine: What makes you sick?

Cream tea. The whole idea of it just winds me up. Just have a cake, or have some tea! I could go on about it, but I’d sound like a weirdo.

Thanks Matt. Anything else you’d like to say to the students of Cambridge?

Come down to my show in London on the 23rd October, it will be a great night.

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