I had always wanted to attempt a project like this since as early as high school when I started taking my writing seriously because I was good at it. I finally decided to begin it as early as I did during my final year in undergrad. I was doing my dissertation on deep foundations listening to my playlist at the time, and I realized every artist on the playlist was about my age; Isaiah Rashad, Chance the Rapper, SZA. This was 2014 and neither of them were exactly superstars yet, but they were all young folks creating the art they wanted to create and finding an audience halfway across the world. So I figured I could do the same. What is now the prologue of the novel was a short story I had submitted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. I had also submitted it to Granta and The New Yorker, all to no avail. It was much too lengthy to get published in [the African online literary digest] Brittle Paper or [the Nigerian literary magazine] Saraba and I was 100 percent sure I didn’t want it trimmed. So I built on it and made it into a novel and then my editor eventually still had it trimmed.