By: Breanna Edwards
Posted: Jan. 25 2016 1:20 PM
Monntel West was just trying to kill time on Friday while he waited for a friend at Lansing Mall in Michigan, when he started tinkering around with the piano at the east end of the mall.
However, all it took was one impressed passerby and a quick cellphone video for the 18-year-old high school senior to become an Internet star, the Lansing State Journal reports.
"I was going up there to meet a friend," West told the news site. "All of a sudden, people started surrounding me."
Even more impressive? West is completely self-taught. He has never received formal training, does not know how to read music and doesn't even have a piano at home to practice on.
Still, he certainly grabbed the attention of visitors as he played a rendition of "River Flows in You," a piece by Yiruma, a South Korean pianist, the Journal notes.
"I had goose bumps," Lansing resident Sara Hadley, who took the now viral video on her iPhone, said. "It was just amazing, and I figured he just deserved some sort of recognition."
Hadley got her wish for West: Her video on Facebook has been viewed over 214,000 times since being uploaded Friday.
West told the Journal that he learned to play by practicing on a keyboard. YouTube videos also helped out a lot. But the teen also seems to have a knack for replicating what he hears.
"If I did get lessons, I think I could be better," West told the site. "You can always get better."