“Everything is incredible.” Why Coldplay featured a Honduran man’s voice in their latest album.

January 3, 2021

“The problem is that everything is incredible and people don’t accept it.”

These were the powerful words of Agustín López-Pacheco, a man from a small town in Honduras – which happens to be my home country – whose life purpose inspired Coldplay – which happens to be my favorite band – to feature him in their song, When I Need a Friend.

The phrase was taken from a documentary called Everything is Incredible produced by Tyler Bastian. Released in 2012, it has allowed López-Pacheco's story to be heard loudly throughout the world, and I imagine this is how Coldplay learned about it. Though Agustín spent most of his life in a wheelchair after contracting polio, this didn’t thwart his efforts towards achieving his greatest dream: building a helicopter. Pacheco always wanted to be a pilot, and despite making a living as a shoemaker, he eventually reached a point where he decided to chase his dream of flying, polio and all.

He was under the impression it was going to be easier than it was. Despite thinking it would only take three months, the man spent over 50 years building the machine. He used parts he bought from hardware stores and things found in the trash, and even took apart his new wheelchair to speed up the process. All of his money was designated for building the helicopter. He wanted nothing more than to obtain parts for his aircraft.

This is how López-Pacheco became a symbol of admiration in the small town of Siguatepeque, Honduras. Many looked up to him for his unyielding determination, and said his passion and positive mindset are what extended his life. For others, López-Pacheco was a laughingstock. They thought he was insane for wanting to do something so unrealistic. Even his own brother told him he was crazy (though ironically, the brother himself died of alcoholism.) But Agustín was well aware of the criticisms, and refuted them with this powerful phrase:

“Look... strictly speaking, for everyone it's been a cause for mockery, because the whole word thinks it is impossible... that I'm just crazy. The problem is that everything is incredible and people don’t accept it.”

This was the entire phrase Coldplay used in their song.

López-Pacheco died a couple years ago, and despite his makeshift helicopter never taking flight, his ambition and persistence are what kept him alive through the ridicule, disease, and poverty that enveloped him. Now Agustín is flying across the world with Coldplay's song, inspiring people with his unique outlook on life.

The album, titled Everyday Life, consists of two parts: ‘Sunset’ and ‘Sunrise’. The first part of the album represents the sunsets; the challenges and difficulties of life, while the second part represents the sunrises; happiness, hope and optimism. López-Pacheco's voice is, suitably, the transition between ‘Sunset’ and ‘Sunrise’ on the album. And in this way, one of the world’s greatest bands used the voice of a man from small-town Honduras to provoke a sense of hope in millions of listeners throughout the world.

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