Former X Factor winner Matt Cardle has spoken of his journey from a dark place after winning the competition to finding love and releasing a new album.
The singer-songwriter, who won the seventh series of X Factor, has spoken candidly about how he turned to alcohol and pills to cope with fame following his 2010 win.
But appearing on ITV’s Lorraine on Friday, after releasing his brand new music, he said: “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for everything that’s happened, so I’m thankful for everything. I don’t regret a thing.
“There’s no shame in any of it. It was just my journey; this is just the next stage of it. Back with Sony as well. To land back in the Sony family. We flirted with a few labels making this album and then to land back in the Sony family is just incredible, so thank you guys for having me back.”
Matt has said in the past he was lucky he didn’t die during the height of his addictions.
His problems started after winning X Factor and suddenly being thrust into the national limelight.
He told Lorraine: “A show like that and the size it was at the time rocks you. It rocks people even if you just get to the live shows. It’s such an experience. Unprecedented numbers, so it takes a long time to steady yourself after something like that.
“It’s quite backwards. So many people knew who I was but I hadn’t even put a record out yet. It was so backwards and it took a long time to find my feet and steady myself. and this really is the album I’ve always wanted to do.”
Reflecting on his darkest days, he said: “I did [self-medicate]. I could point the finger at any one thing at the time, whether it was leaving Sony, whether it was the relationship break down, whether it was the stresses of fame – it was just the culmination of everything and I ran away from how I was feeling.
“That’s why my new album is called Time To Be Alive. It’s from being through rehab and talking about everything and realising you can’t run from the things that hurt – you have to face up to life.
“It’s ying and yang, there are beautiful things that happen and dark and painful things that happen. I was running away and that’s what got me at the end of the day.
“I did three albums in three years that were very much heartbreak albums, and Ididn’t want to do that again. I’m weirdly glad for the fact I went to that dark place because behind a lot of artists, so much art, is struggle and pain.
“I’m strangely thankful for that pain and being able to pour it back into the album.”
Lorraine pointed out Matt also has “the love of a good woman” these days.
He laughed: “She’s wonderful! She’s absolutely wonderful. We stopped going out as much. When you’re in a relationship it keeps you from being a bit of a bad boy!”
Matt also credited his former X Factor mentor Dannii Minogue for remaining a positive influence in his life.
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“She’s been great. Ever since the show she’s always been there supporting me. She definitely was one, if not the only mentor who took that role seriously. And if you get along with someone you will stay in touch. And we did get on well.”
Matt’s new album, A Time To Be Alive, is available now, alongside new single Desire.
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