Kaleb Mitchell didn’t want “10,000 Leagues” to be just another single.

He dropped the song on Tuesday, the high school junior’s 17th birthday, after counting down for nearly a month on social media — after counting down to the announcement of the release date. The occasion also marks his first retail single, but “10,000 Leagues” means more than a couple of milestones to Mitchell.

“How the song came about was me taking a look at relationships with kids that grew up in the church with me. As we grew up, we kind of grew a part; we all went our separate ways,” Mitchell told Rapzilla. “The kids that I knew started experimenting, doing drugs and all the rest of that. …

“Remembering the people who I used to be friends with, thinking about where they are now and the things they’re doing now, it just kind of hurt.”

Mitchell wanted to equate drug use with a feeling of being deep under water — 10,000 leagues below the surface.

“I wanted to tell a story from the perspective of someone who ventured too far into these waters — these waters being the drugs, alcohol and the rest of the things they were experimenting with,” Mitchell said. “They just thought they were having a good time, they were living, they were living on the edge, but they just ventured too far into it. … . It’s almost like a cry for this generation right now.”

Mitchell, who produced most of his popular free EP, Soliloquy, also produced “10,000 Leagues.” He said he created the beat over the course of couple nights, staying up as late as 3:45 a.m. to work on it, even though he has to catch the bus to school at 7:20 a.m.

“Honestly, this dude’s work ethic and passion is on point,” producer Wontel told Rapzilla earlier this year. “He’s hungrier than most dudes and that makes him stand out.”

Buy “10,000 Leagues” on iTunes or Amazon.

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