Never judge a book by its cover! I bet you’ve heard this many times in your life, and if you ever wondered what it really means, the answer is hidden in the life story of a homeless man whose heart and soul were into making music.
Ryan Arcand spent most of his lonesome life on the streets of Edmonton, Canada. And if it wasn’t for the lady who spotted his talent, we would have never heard the music he played, and he would have remained known for just being a homeless guy.
One day, as he was playing on an old piano, his music caught the ear of a random passer by who asked for Ryan’s permission to record him. Thanks to that video, Ryan flaunted his genuine and raw talent and he melted the hearts of each of the 12 million people who watched him playing on that battered piano. Once the video had gone viral people were interested to learn more about this mysterious man, so the CBC, Canadian National Broadcasting Service decided to reach him. After three days they managed to track him down and asked for an interview. According to Ryan, the first encounter he had with a piano was at the age of eight, when he stumbled upon the instrument in the basement of his foster home. His outworn clothes testified of the hard life he experienced on the streets.
Ryan had no idea his music went viral until a friend told him that he was “all over the world.”
The woman who made the famous video, Roslyn Polard, started a fundraiser and surprised Ryan with a brand new piano, and that meant he could write his music and play on it whenever he would feel the need.
However, his life after the video didn’t really change much. His mental health problems along with his alcohol addiction remained with him until his last days. Yes, this man who became known as the piano man of Edmonton died at age of 46.
Those close to him only have words of praise for his remarkable talent.
Jared Tkachuk, manager of the organization dedicated to “heavy users” says, “He was always willing to try again and he never gave up. He had a lot of struggles in his life, lots of trauma, lots of pain. He had a developmental disability and he struggled with mental health. He tried to cope with it all with drugs and alcohol.”
Now that he is gone, his music will remain forever with those who understood his true love for the instrument.
Please share the video with your friends as a tribute to the man who touched hearts all over the world.