TALK about airing your dirty laundry in public.
On the eve of his month-long UK tour – which kicked off on Monday and includes a date at the Queen’s Hall tonight – 2010 X Factor winner Matt Cardle revealed that his older sibling helped him overcome his addiction to alcohol and prescription drugs.
The 30-year-old singer-songwriter, who releases new single Hit My Heart on Monday, admitted that brother Dominic was the driving force behind his recovery, after forcing him to seek help.
“There’s no doubt about it that my brother saved my life,” said Cardle. “He’s the person I’m closest to in the world and he forced me to see reality.
“Even when I went for my check-in at The Priory I was in denial that I had a problem, but sometimes it takes others to show you what you refuse to see.
“It was only a matter of time before I didn’t wake up,” added the singer.
Cardle said he started taking a little Valium to calm his nerves, but soon the amount he was using was potentially lethal.
“I didn’t plan to start taking Valium but it began with flying. I’d take one to calm my nerves, then there was a two-week period where I went to Los Angeles five times.
“Eventually, after a few pills and a few drinks, I started to feel better than I did before X Factor.”
The When We Collide hitmaker, who was 27 when he thrust into the public eye on X Factor, turned to the pills to deal with stress after splitting from his record label.
Not that he has any regrets about going on the ITV talent show.
“It’s no secret that I struggled as a musician for years,” says the Southampton-born performer, who now has two million record sales under his belt. “I started my first band when I was 12 and spent at least 15 years recording albums, sending demos to record companies and publishers without any real breakthrough. It was tough.
“The X Factor gave me the biggest opportunity of my life. Without that, I wouldn’t be in the position I am now and I’ll be eternally grateful.”
In Edinburgh, the chart-topper will perform all the hits from his first two albums alongside tracks from recent third album Porcelain.
Cardle believes that the album is his most diverse to date.
“On this album, I’ve fused so many of my favourite genres to create a real variety of sounds and textures,” he says.
“There’s a lot more soul on this album, but equally I’ve gone further pushing my rock influences into some of the tracks.
“There’s some gorgeous love songs and a bit of bluesy attitude too.”
“I’m generally in a happier place and that’s reflected lyrically, but everyone has their dark days too. I really feel there’s something for everyone to relate to.”
Matt Cardle, Queen’s Hall, Clerk Street, tonight, 7pm, 17.50, 0131-668 2019