Born on March 18th, 1981, Portmore, Jamaica, Ricardo Renford Nicholson, better known by
his stage name Merchant (aka
Musicaly Merchant), is an award-winning
Jamaican reggae superstar and dancehall deejay with a wide range of flamboyant lyrics and versatile styles.
Nicholson grew up in
Manchester where he attended Kayda Primary School and later on moved to the
Kingston Spanish Town Garrison Water House continued his education at Drew’s Avenue
All Age School. At age of 15, he moved to the coastal city of Portmore in
southern Jamaica in Saint Catherine Parish and furthered his schooling at
Waterford Comprehensive High School.
Merchant’s interest in singing began while was
at Drew’s Avenue All Age School. He started singing at school concerts. While
he was a student at Waterford, he and his peers would hold their own concerts
during the lunch break, beating rhythms on the desk and carrying out deejay
battles with each other. To his credit, it put him on a productive tract.
As a young adult, Merchant
resided in Portmore where he had lots of musical influence and mentorships from
artists such as “Bounty Killer”, “Mad Cobra,” “Frisco Kid,” “Singer J and
Indica.” In 2004, he was encouraged by Indica to enter the B-mobile Portmore
talent search and placed first runner up to Roots Reggae phenom Gyptian known
worldwide for ““Hold Yuh", "Serious Times," "Mama,"
and "Beautiful Lady.” In that same year, he performed at his first major
event, “The West Kingston Jamboree” where world class dancehall talent such as Mad
Cobra, Vybz Kartel and Mavado are regulars. His debut at this event was a
major success. It resulted in his becoming a recording artist.
Merchant currently, boasts
hit singles such as “I Wish”, “Freedom Fighter”, Woman A Mi Life”,“Move Out Mi
Tings”, “Joe Grind”, Never Walk Away”, “Gud Gud Gud”, and “Summer Time”.
In 2012, he released the
controversial breakthrough single, “Move Out Mi
Tings”, described a personal conflict between Merchant and his baby mother. The
video gained wide-spread attention and heavy rotation on CVM HD, ReTV, Swag TV,
Links TV, TVJ and Hype TV, leading to multiple press features.