He started his singing career as a member of the singing trio ‘Far Too Far’. One of the members of the trio was the brother of ‘JLS’ member Marvin Humes. ‘JLS’ had participated in the fifth season of ‘The X Factor.’ Matt moved to the US, along with fellow members of his trio, in the hope of securing a record deal. However, the trio failed to make any record deal and eventually split up.
In 2016, he auditioned for the 13th season of the British reality series ‘The X Factor’. In the audition, he sang ‘Stand by Me’, originally sung by American soul and R&B singer Ben E King. His rendition of this song earned him four “yeses” from the judges, which was the maximum possible number of affirmations. He qualified for the ‘Bootcamp’ stage.
In the ‘Bootcamp’ stage, he was put in the ‘Boys’ category. He was mentored by American singer and songwriter Nicole Scherzinger. He then qualified for the ‘Six-Chair’ round by singing American singer Charlie Puth’s ‘See You Again.’
He went from the ‘Six-Chair’ round to the ‘Judges’ Houses’ stage by performing Bruno Mars’s ‘When I Was Your Man.’ He qualified for the ‘Live Show’ round by performing Michael Jackson’s ‘She’s Out of My Life.’ His mentor, Nicole Scherzinger, chose him as one of her top three contenders from the ‘Boys’ category.
He cleared his first live show by singing ‘You Don’t Own Me’ by Lesley Gore. For his second live show, he sang ‘I Heard it through the Grapevine’ (the Marvin Gaye version). The third live show had him singing ‘I’ll Be There.’
His subsequent live shows on ‘The X Factor’ featured him singing tracks such as ‘I Put a Spell on You’ by Sceamin’ Jay Hawkins, ‘I’m Your Man’ by ‘Wham!,’ ‘Best of My Love’ by ‘The Emotions,’ and ‘Writing’s on the Wall’ by Sam Smith.
The eighth live show consisted of two rounds. He sang ‘Secret Love Song’ by ‘Little Mix’ in the first and ‘Alive’ by Sia in the second. He was placed second in the eighth live show, thereby securing his position in the next round, which was the semi-final round.
The semi-final round consisted of three rounds, which had him singing the traditional Christmas carol ‘Silent Night’ and ‘Say You Love Me’ by Jessie Ware. In the third round of the semi-final stage, he was declared safe by a poll, and he thus qualified for the final round.
The final round of the show saw him mesmerizing the audiences with his renditions of ‘Take Me Home’ by Jess Glynne, ‘Purple Rain’ by Prince, and Sam Smith’s ‘Writing’s on the Wall.’ After his flawless rendition of ‘One Day I’ll Fly Away’ by Randy Crawford in the final round, he was declared the winner of the 13th season of ‘The X Factor.’
Soon, he released his ‘Winner’s Single.’ This was the second time that a ‘Winner’s Single’ was released after the end of the series. The song was titled ‘When Christmas Comes Around.’ It was written by Ed Sheeran and Amy Wadge and was released on December 11, 2016. The song attained the second and the third spots on the ‘Scottish Singles’ and the ‘UK Singles’ charts, respectively. It also reached number 14 and 28 on the Irish and Finnish charts, respectively. The proceeds from the sales of the single were distributed equally between two British charities, ‘Together for Short Lives’ and ‘Shooting Star CHASE.’ The British ‘Chancellor of the Exchequer’ waived taxes on the song, as the proceeds from the single were intended to be donated to charitable organizations. Matt also signed deals with record companies ‘RCA’ and ‘Syco.’
In 2017, he was featured as a guest artist, along with Sean Paul, on Enrique Iglesias’s remix of the hit ‘Súbeme La Radio.’ The song was one of the top 10 hits in the UK. It was certified “silver” by the ‘British Phonographic Industry’ (BPI). The same year, he was featured as a guest artist on a cover version of the ‘Simon & Garfunkel’ song ‘Bridge over Troubled Water,’ which was released on June 21, 2017, to raise funds for the victims of the ‘Grenfell Tower’ fire tragedy. The single aced both the British and the Scottish singles charts and reached numbers 25 and 23 on the Irish and the Finnish singles charts, respectively.
On November 24, 2017, he released his debut album, ‘Trouble,’ through ‘RCA Records.’ The album peaked at number 29 and 39, on the British and the Scottish charts, respectively. The most successful song from the album was ‘Sucker for You.’ Unfortunately, the album was tagged as the worst-performing debut album of any ‘The X Factor’ winner ever. In an interview on June 3, 2018, he disclosed that he had parted ways with ‘RCA records.’ A few media portals reported that ‘RCA Records’ itself had terminated his contract because of the poor sales of his debut album.