In 1994 physics student Svyatosav Vakarchuk joined drummer Denis Glinin, guitarist Pavel Gudimov and bass-guitarist Yury Hustochka as a member of the band.
12th of October 1994 is considered to be the band’s founding date. It also happens to be Pasha Gudimov’s birthday.
Guys came up with the name “Okean Elzy” in one of the Lviv’s cafes. Slava Vakarchuk suggested the word - “ocean”. At that time he was hooked on The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteaus TV-show and was astonished by how ocean was depicted in the show - beautiful and full of mystique. And most importantly he was in awe with the complicated obscurity of the “great blue”: on the one hand, everything is in strict order, on the other - full of irrationality. This was what music was for Svyatoslav.
The first part of the name was quickly approved. The band needed another word in addition to “ocean” so it would sound harmoniously along with it. They chose the name “Elza”, for rather simple reasons: the name sounded good, and it would do so in any language.
On January 14th 1995 the band performed at a variety concert in front of opera theatre in Lviv, where 7 thousand people attended. A year later “OE” had their first overseas show in a German city Gernsbach. The next landmark performance was a big solo show in Lviv – “Dva z polovynoyu” (the name was indicating band’s age). More than a thousand viewers enjoyed the show.
In December 1994 at “Galvoks” studio the band recorded it’s first demo-cassette, which contained four songs. In 1996 a maxi-single “Budynok zi Skla” came out, which spread amongst the fans. A song called “Ty ne pytai” was later released again under another name – “Africa” in the “Yanannebibuv” album (2000).
1998 was a turning point for “OE”. In April the band moved to Kyiv and signed a contract with “Nova Records” label. Under the new contract the band released their new album “Tam de nas nema” in September. On the following year the album was reissued in Russia.