Producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Matt Mahaffey – aka sElf – has returned from a hiatus with a brand new EP. With a long-running career in music that has seen him play guitar for Beck and mastermind a track for the movie Shrek, Matt has recently been busy scoring Disney cartoon Henry Hugglemonster and Nickelodeon’s Sanjay And Craig, as well as working on new material to release under his sElf pseudonym.

As sElf, Matt has put out a string of albums since 1995 beginning with major-label cult classic Subliminal Plastic Motives, a record that epitomises his signature pop sound effortlessly featuring beats, samples and rock guitars. A series of LPs followed, with latest release Gizmodergy in 2000. New EP Super Fake Nice is the first record from sElf in 14 years, making it the perfect time to check in with the artist to see what he has been up to and what tracks have made the cut for his Happiness playlist.

1. We haven’t properly heard from sElf in such a long time! Your latest EP,  Super Fake Nice, is your first release in 14 years. What inspired you to return after so long?

I was always writing and making sElf music so the music was there but the timing never seemed right.  Then we got approached by a label who wanted to put out an EP and the stars aligned and we just did it.  It was the first time I was able to put out music with no pressure and it was a really refreshing experience.

2. You mentioned Super Fake Nice in a MySpace post way back in 2007! Were any of the songs currently on the album recorded then?

Some of them were works in progress back then.  It just took me some time to focus and finish them.

3. The album’s catchy power-pop sound is attracting lots of new, younger fans who are going back to discover your older music online. How does it feel to have your music embraced by a younger generation?

It feels great.  We had no idea what to expect when you went down this road again of releasing music, playing shows, etc.  But to find new fans is just as exciting as knowing the long time fans are still around and interested in my music.

4. Talk us through some of the songs on your Spotify playlist and why you chose them?

I think listening to music is just as important to me now and for similar reasons as when I first started listening to music as a kid.  The only difference is now I have kids and some of these songs are songs I want my kids to know about, while others are songs that I only want my wife and I to listen to (in between the sheets).