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Metamora singer covers Lukas Graham hit to celebrate OU graduation

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

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JonPaul Wallace hasn't had particularly good luck as a graduating senior.

The end of the Metamora resident's time at Lapeer High School in 2016 was marked by the charged presidential election, the Zika virus outbreak, Brexit and a particularly heavy batch of celebrity deaths.

This year, meanwhile, Wallace graduated from Oakland University, with a degree in finance and marketing, without a ceremony due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Wallace's way of dealing with it; A version of the Lukas Graham hit "7 Years," which he recorded for both events with lyrics changed to reflect the circumstances. He also filmed a new video for the song -- in cap and gown, underneath Elliott Tower on the OU campus -- which is closing in on 400,000 views on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok.

"I like the song," Wallace says, "and it really fits a lot of the unique emotions of now, with everything going on and not getting a traditional ceremony and moving on to the next phase of life in this strange world we're living in right now. I thought that doing ('7 Years') again expressed that exactly."

Wallace promises that making the updated "7 Years" video, which also includes footage from his high school graduation -- ironically held at the Meadow Brook Amphitheatre on the Oakland University campus -- was permisable even with Covid quarantine restrictions.

"They've kept the outside of the campus open," he recalls. "There were other people walking around and stuff, so it was good. There were some employees on their lunch break, looking at me. It was a little strange but they seemed ot like it."

Though the fact that he's graduated from OU "still hasn't really sunk in" without a formal ceremony, Wallace is moving on for a dedicated career in music. Singing and playing piano since he was young, Wallace has posted 13 songs on ITunes, Apple Music, Spotify and other platforms and performed around the metro area, including at Arts, Beats & Eats. He had some shows planned for April that were canceled and for now is biding his time and trying to stay creative amidst uncertainty.

"I've been doing a lot of writing and working on producing for myself -- that's been one of my quarantine projects, you could say," Wallace notes. "I'm hoping to have a few new singles to drop this summer. If an opportunity comes up where I can use my degree to support my music, I'm open to that, but the plan is definitely to do music full-time.

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