Okean Elzi

Okean Elzi

Country: Ukraine

  1. Biography of Okean Elzy
  2. The Clan of Silence
  3. The Discovery of Yuri
  4. Early Success and Debut Album
  5. Move to Kyiv and National Recognition
  6. Continued Success and International Recognition

Biography of Okean Elzy

In April 2002, the band Okean Elzy performed a concert with the Renaissance symphony orchestra at the "UKRAINA" palace. The band originated in Lviv in the early 90s, with members Pasha, Denis, and Yura living in close proximity. Frontman Svyatoslav Vakarchuk was not part of their immediate circle, but his parents encouraged his musical talents. This support allowed the band members to explore the world without having to hide their musical ambitions.

The Clan of Silence

The Clan of Silence was formed in Lviv, consisting of Denis Glinin, future drummer of the band, and his classmates Pasha Gudimov and Andrey Golyak. They played various genres of music, from art-rock to punk, and performed numerous concerts in Lviv, mainly at the local concert hall.

The Discovery of Yuri

Yuri Khustochka, also known as Yuri Babochkin, joined the group after meeting Pasha Gudimov and becoming friends with him. Yuri was a cheerful guy who shared their passion for music and photography. When the band needed a bassist, they suggested Yuri join them, and he accepted. With Yuri's addition, the Clan of Silence transformed into Okean Elzy, although it was not a complete departure from their previous musical style.

Early Success and Debut Album

Okean Elzy quickly became one of the most active bands in the Lviv rock scene, despite playing a style of music not traditionally associated with the city – urban rock, a mix of punk and pop. In December, the band recorded their first mini-album, titled "Demo," followed by another called "Anplahet" a year later. In the fall of 1996, Okean Elzy took second place at the "Perlini Sezonu" festival, gaining recognition for their unique sound.

Move to Kyiv and National Recognition

In January 1998, Okean Elzy signed a contract with the Kyiv-based record label Nemo and decided to relocate from Lviv to Kyiv. They spent six months in the studio, resulting in their debut album, "Tam, de nas nema" (There, Where We Are Not), released in September 1998. The album resonated with the younger generation, featuring romantic guitar-driven post-punk with lyrics in Ukrainian, infused with a subtle national flavor.

The album quickly climbed the Ukrainian charts and topped Nova Records' ratings for a month. The music video for the title track further boosted the band's popularity. Okean Elzy won three national awards in 1998 – "Debut of the Year," "Best Album," and "Best Song." In 1999, their album was re-released by the Russian label "Extraphone." Their breakthrough in Russia came with the rotation of the music video for "Sosni" (Pine Trees) on MTV. In February 2000, their second album, "Yananebibuv," was released simultaneously by Nova Records and Real Records. The album showcased a more diverse sound, incorporating string arrangements in some songs.

Continued Success and International Recognition

In May of the same year, Okean Elzy captivated the audience of the largest Russian rock festival, "Maxidrom." Despite the language barrier, the band's emotional songs resonated with the audience. Following their success in Russia, they embarked on international tours, including performances in London, the birthplace of rock and roll.

Just a year after the release of "Yananebibuv," Okean Elzy released their third album, "Model," in April 2001. The album's name was inspired by the chorus of one of its standout tracks, "Koko Chanel," dedicated to the renowned fashion designer. Produced by Sergey Tolstoluzhsky, the album experimented with electronic elements while retaining the band's essence. The album received critical acclaim and continued their tradition of delivering emotional and melodic songs with a touch of Ukrainian folk music influence.

Okean Elzy's journey from Lviv to national and international recognition showcases their talent, evolving sound, and dedication to their Ukrainian roots.