Since Matt Cardle landed the prestigious X Factor crown, life has not been the same. The former painter and decorator already has a number one single and a platinum-selling debut album under his belt. With an army of loyal followers and full control of his musical career, the 2010 X Factor winner is proving to be unstoppable.

Having recently released album number two ‘The Fire,’ Matt lifts the lid to Flavour about his struggle to heal his broken heart, why he should not be written off and clears up reports of a feud between him and X Factor boss Simon Cowell.

What can you tell us about your new album ‘The Fire’?

I got to write with some great songwriters and producers over in LA and Canada, whilst I was doing some shows over there.  To be honest, my relationship broke down just before I started writing it so that’s why it’s very personal. It’s a heartbreak album, but I mean when you listen to it, it’s also very positive and upbeat.

It seems like you were a lot more in control with this album?

I have had just complete freedom. I mean I wrote, produced and played most of the instruments on it. I pretty much played everything from the drums, bass, guitar and piano, but left the violin to someone else because I can’t play it. Apart from that I did everything myself.

What’s the album title about?

The title came from a track on the album called ‘The Fire,’ which was the first and last track I wrote for the album. I started writing it a long time ago with a guy called Eg White, who is a genius. It was the last track I finished on the album with Jack McManus who is also a genius. So between the three of us, we made this track, which is one of my favourite records on the album.

What do you want people to feel when they listen to your music?

I want them to feel something because that’s what music should do, it should make you feel something whether you’re happy or sad. It should provoke a reaction because that is just what music is designed to do and if my music can do that in any way shape or form I’m succeeding.

Not to get all Jeremy Kyle on you, but prior to the fame you now sustain. What’s been the biggest change for you over the past 18 months? 

I suppose the change of label, the fact that I’ve gained so much control has been a big change for me but obviously, my life has changed so much since the X Factor.  Nowadays, when I walk on the streets, people know my name and my face, which is still a strange thing to be dealing with.

Acts like Misha B, Cher Lloyd, Aiden Grimshaw and One Directon are doing really well, but then some former X-Factor contestants fade away. Does that worry you?

No, I mean its one of those things where you just keep doing what you’re doing. It annoys me sometimes because people are too quick to write me off, and they have been doing so ever since I came off the show. They seem to forget the fact that my first album was platinum.  I have just had another top ten record, that’s two top tens in one year, and people are still out there saying that I haven’t been successful, it gets frustrating. But it doesn’t seem to matter what I do as people want to give this perception that I have failed or it’s the curse of a male [X Factor] winner, when it has not been – as I’ve had an amazing year. Earlier this year, the first album went platinum, and I also had a sold out tour. So to have had another top ten [album] off the back of going to an indie label – I just couldn’t be in a better position.

Does it just make you laugh to see reports about you feuding with Simon Cowell and other x Factor contestants?

Of course, it makes me laugh because it’s all bullsh*t.

Is the new single ‘Anyone Else’ – about anyone in particular?

It’s a song about the girl I broke up with. [Pause] It’s not saying that I have been sleeping around. I don’t want to sleep around or see anyone else, I don’t want to be with anyone, I just want to be with that one person. That’s what the song is saying and that’s what it’s about.

How are you coping with a broken heart?

I mean it’s sh*t and it’s no fun but people go through it all the time, and they know exactly how it feels. It’s still not fixed, and it won’t be for a long time. Some days you feel okay and some days you feel sh*t hence why the album has got sad and happy songs on it. As I was writing it some days, I felt good about it and others, I didn’t.

Anything in particular you’d like to find in your Christmas stocking?

Yeah – fresh boxers, clean socks, world peace and Cheryl Cole. [Laughs]

You’ll be hitting the road in 2013 with your ‘Unplugged’ tour, performing acoustics. Are you excited to be doing something so different?

Yeah, absolutely. In April, this year, we did a huge tour across the UK and Ireland, twenty-three shows sold out to nearly fifty thousand people and that was a full production with band and everything. But now I just want to strip it back and give the fans some more acoustic stuff.

Matt’s new single ‘Anyone Else’ is released December 31.  Tickets for his April/May 2013 ‘Unplugged’ tour is now available.