Why Matt didn't have the X Factor
It didn't come as a huge surprise that Essex X Factor winner Matt Cardle and his record label Columbia have parted ways, as reported in the tabloids today.
There had been murmurings for a while now that his debut album Letters was deemed to have underperformed following its release last autumn, shifting something in the region of 250,000 units - pretty good but poor compared to the million selling likes of other X Factor stars like Leona Lewis and Alexandra Burke.
He's also failed to have the impact of boy band One Direction, who he beat to win the X Factor in 2010 and who are now big news in the USA.
The thing is it's hard to be a pop star and a 'serious artist' at the same time and that was the gap Matt Cardle was trying to bridge.
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X Factor is all about mainstream pop, catchy tunes and being a media-friendly personality. For all his talents as a musician and his impressive performances on Simon Cowell's talent show, Matt Cardle didn't really tick any of those boxes.
That other Essex X Factor star Olly Murs on the other hand does. He didn't even win the X Factor but he's playing stadium gigs, touring the US and is a TV regular. In other words, he's a celebrity. He's the cheeky Essex chappy who everyone loves.
Matt's release from his Columbia deal (there are reports that he wanted out) may even be a blessing in disguise for the former Seven Summers frontman. He's reportedly in Los Angeles writing the follow up to Letters and when I spoke to him ahead of his Cliffs Pavilion gig back in March, he was very focussed on pressing on with the new album:
"I really want it out this year. I want to step on with it, I want to push the sound, get a different feel to the tracks, move everything on again," he said.
Artistic differences are often cited as the reasons for bands splitting up but it's rarer for it to be the reason a musician leaves a label.
But without a major record label overseeing what he does, perhaps he'll now have the freedom to record the album he wants.