Dennis East was born in Durban. He pursued his interest in music while still at school in Pietermaritzburg working with various musicians. In the 1970's, he settled in Johannesburg to pursue a solo career.
He recorded his first solo single “Could you ever love me again” with RPM records in late 1973 which saw a good start to his recording career but achieved his first top five single in 1974 with “A rose has to die” followed by a highly successful album. He also received his first nomination as best male vocalist for the coveted Sarie award.
In 1976 he was back in the charts with “A million drums” which still remains his biggest hit to date and was released in both Europe and South America. He was once again nominated for a Sarie award and has since recorded the song for various album projects including a duet with Steve Hofmeyer on his “Toeka 1” album.
Dennis achieved yet another top ten single in 1977 with the hit “ Stone Walls “ followed by another successful album. This time around saw him winning the Sarie award for best male vocalist. In 1978 he signed to the David Gresham record company not only as an artist, but a songwriter and producer as well. He then formed part of the highly successful rock outfit “Stingray” and was back in the charts with the hit single “Better the devil you know” taken from the band’s debut album. The album was released worldwide with “Better the devil you know” also charting in the UK.
In 1982 it was decided by David Gresham that Dennis spend some time in the USA where he was based in Los Angeles for a number of months. Wasting no time he linked up with Mikel Japp who had worked with rock outfit “Kiss”, John Waite and British group “Marmalade”. Together they wrote and recorded tracks for Dennis’s solo project. He also got to write with renowned writer “John Capek” who had written songs for the likes of “Diana Ross”, “Heart”, “Chicago” as well as Rod Stewart. Dennis says “ I learned so much while there and the experience remains invaluable to me as a performer, producer and songwriter."
In 1988 he was nominated to represent South Africa in the “Chilean song festival” appearing with Laura Brannigan and Mr Mister. He took second place in the contest with his song “Genevieve”. He also received a separate award voted by radio listeners throughout south america for best vocalist.
The early 90’s saw him return with yet another hit “Dammit i love you” which remains on many radio playlists to this day. During this time, he parted ways with the David Gresham record company and began to focus more on producing records for other artists, including Dozi, Zwai Bala, Amersham, Bobby Angel, Dan Moyane (hit version of “Shosholoza” for the 1995 rugby world cup), Steve Hofmeyr, Kurt Darren, Patricia Lewis and Bles Bridges amongst others.
As a songwriter, Dennis has achieved success both locally and internationally. His song “Trouble” appeared on the album “Whispering Jack” by Australian superstar “ John Farnham” which sold in excess of two million copies worldwide. He has composed and co-composed many radio and tv themes and jingles.
He operates his own recording facility Shiam productions in Cape Town and has recently completed production on the eighth album for platinum selling superstar “Manie Jackson”. He is currently working on a new “Dennis East album for release later this year.
As a live performer, Dennis East has performed throughout South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and South America. He was the support act for legendary British group “The Hollies” in 2011. He presents radio shows “Tydloos” - the best in South African music of yesteryear on Bok radio and “Legends of SA Music” on LM Radio.
A true South African music icon, Dennis East continues to do what he loves, making music!