The X Factor winner Matt Cardle is working with the head of Columbia record label Mike Smith, who helped mould the careers of The White Stripes and The Libertines, among others.“Now the show is over, Matt is going down a very different path to any other X Factor winner,” a source told the News of the World. “He’ll have freedom to embrace his rock side and Simon is encouraging that. Matt will be at the forefront of the creative process.

“Matt is going to be hanging out with rock stars and working with really talented musicians. This is the world that he loves.”

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