Matt Terry On Why Doing Things Differently Means He's Not Concerned About The Curse Of The Male 'X Factor' Winner
As a male winner of ‘The X Factor’, the pressure is on reigning champion Matt Terry right now.
As he officially launches his post-talent show career, all eyes are currently on him to see if he can succeed where Steve Brookstein, Leon Jackson, Joe McElderry and Ben Haenow stumbled.
However, the 24-year-old admits he is not concerned about the so-called “curse” that has plagued the men who have won the competition before him.
Last week, he released his new R&B-tinged single, ‘Sucker For You’, and he is hoping the fact he has done things “differently” to some of his predecessors will see him right.
“I don’t really believe in the curse,” he confidently tells HuffPost UK. “Everybody is individual and we all have our own path.
“I feel like there’s always pressure no matter what position you finish in, first, second, third or eighth. They know us from ‘X Factor’ and there is that automatic pressure.
“I just try not to think about it much and just do stuff without thinking. My path is my path and whatever is meant to happen will.
“I can only speak for myself, but this year, I’ve done everything differently,” he explains, pointing out he was the first ever ‘X Factor’ winner to release an original Christmas song as their winner’s single. Penned by Ed Sheeran, ‘When Christmas Comes Around’ reached number three in the charts last December.
“Then I signed to RCA instead of Syco,” he says of the move, which is rare for an ‘X Factor’ champion, who traditionally sign to Simon Cowell’s record label.
“I obviously never got to work with Syco, so I don’t know the difference, but RCA have been incredible,” Matt says. “They trust me and I love all the team on board.”
Matt then surprised fans with his fluent Spanish with a feature spot on Enrique Iglesias’s ‘Súbeme La Radio’, having learnt the language when he lived in Spain with his family as a child.
″That was super exciting because I’ve always wanted to branch out and do that,” he says, revealing there will be some Spanish tracks on his forthcoming album.
And although he is not signed to Syco, Matt claimed Simon has hailed that decision as “genius”.
“I caught up with him not long ago and he was just saying how proud he was of me, and saying it was genius what we’re doing with the Spanish thing, and how different it was,” he says. “He’s very pleased with it and is very happy.
“At the end of the day, I will always be one of Simon’s artists because of the show. I’m here thanks to him, I suppose
“I’m always invited to his Syco summer parties, charity events, and music-wise, he set a few meeting up for me in Miami.”
Matt’s former mentor on ‘The X Factor’, Nicole Scherzinger, has also given her seal of approval too, and it seems the pair still remain as close as they were on the show.
“When I send her stuff, she normally plays it really loud and dances to it and then sends me videos back,” he says. “She loves ‘Sucker For You’ and gave me a full review on Whatsapp.
“She literally loves it, and is so proud of me, she couldn’t believe I wrote some of the stuff.”
Unlike many past ‘X Factor’ stars, Matt has been heavily involved in the writing process for the album, revealing he’s penned almost all of the tracks himself - something which he admitted he didn’t have much experience of before getting down to it.
Explaining it “came super naturally” to him, he continues: “Going into the studio, it was just something I had to do and I wrote almost the entire album. My label is really happy with me.
“My A&R called me up the other day and told me how much he’d enjoyed the process, and it was all down to my good songwriting and hard work.”
While Matt is staying “super positive” about his music career, and hopes people will love his music, the show he found fame on is currently taking a battering.
Despite numerous tweaks and changes from boss Simon, the ‘X Factor’ ratings slump has worsened, recording its lowest figure in its 14-year history last month, when just 4.5 million people tuned in to one audition episode.
And while there seems to be a consensus it’s time bosses pulled the plug, Matt is insistent there is still a place for it on our screens.
“I don’t think the UK would be the same without it,” Matt says. “When ‘X Factor’ comes on, that’s Britain’s countdown to Christmas and when it starts to get colder. It’s like a season.
“If it were to take a break, I think everyone would notice it and it would be a shame. I still think it’s got a future, and they should just keep spicing it up.”
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So, what changes would Matt himself make to the show, having been through the process himself?
That’s an easy question for him, as he answers without hesitation: “I would get rid of the Six Chair Challenge - it is horrendous.
“It is the worst experience to go through. Then again, it is probably one of the most interesting parts for the public.
“I feel like they should bring back the dance round,” he laments. “We actually had a dance round and they filmed it, but it didn’t air.”
Revealing he may be popping up later in the current series (most likely to be a performance of his new single during live shows), Matt adds he is happy to embrace the ‘X Factor’ tag while he attempts to break free from the show.
“I’m here thanks to them, so I’m always happy to be part of the ‘X Factor’ family,” he says. “They gave me that platform to step on to.”
Matt’s single, ‘Sucker For You’, is out now.
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost.