Ricardo Renford Nicholson, known by his stage name, Merchant, is a Jamaican reggae/ dancehall recording artiste and songwriter who gained a reputation for being open and candid in his lyrics.
His 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, Swag TV, Links TV, TVJ and Hype TV, leading to multiple press features.
From the age of 10 Merchant aspired to become an artiste. Over the years he honed his craft writing for other artistes such as Fisko Kid, Derrick Parker and Queen Paula. In 2004 Merchant won second place in
the nation-wide B-Mobile Talent Search competition, where Gyptian won first place.
In 2010 Merchant signed up with the record labels - Ken Vybz Label (KVL) and Unisyz Muzik, based in Portmore, St. Catherine. A business collaboration which facilitated all his management and production needs from studio to film.
Born in Manchester, Jamaica to parents Charmaine Bowen and Renford Nicholson, Merchant is also the nephew of well-known singer Derrick Parker. He spent his early childhood in Manchester, where he attended the Kayda primary school.
He later moved to Kingston in the garrison of Water House where he attended the Drew’s Avenue All Age School. It was there he started performing at school concerts. At the age of 15, he moved to Portmore and attended the Waterford Comprehensive High School.
While attending school, Merchant and his peers held their own pretend concerts during lunch breaks, beating rhythms on the desk and challenging each other lyrically.
While growing up in Portmore, Merchant had a lot more musical influences such as Busy Signal, Bounty Killer, Koshens, Mad-Cobra, Mavado, Frisco-kid, Singer J and Indica. In 2004, he was encouraged by
a friend, Indica, to enter the B-mobile star search talent competition in Portmore at Ken's Wild flower Lounge.
He did and won second place. Gyptian won fist place. That same year he performed at his first major stage show - The West Kingston Jamboree, which was a major success.
To-date Merchant has shared the stage with some of dancehall’s most prominent stars including Aidonia, Mavado, Kartel, Buju Banton, Beenie Man and Spraga Benz at events such as Tivoli Jamboree. As an
artiste Merchant has been musically inspired by Sizzla, Bob Marley and Mad Cobra. Although he has several collaborations in the pipeline for his up-coming project one day he also hopes to collaborate with
the likes of Mavado, Konshens, I-Octane and I-Wayne.
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