Born on March 18th, 1981 to Renford Nicholson and Charmaine Bowen in Manchester, Jamaica, Ricardo Renford Nicholson is the new wave rider in Jamaican Reggae and Dancehall. To his fans, listeners, and the world, he sells his brand of entertainment under the stage name “Merchant.”
Early life and career
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.
Music is inherently rooted in Nicolson’s family’s blood. He is the nephew of well-known singer, Derrick Parker, who is famous throughout Jamaica for hits such as “Dem Nuh Loyal No More,” “Bus Mi Appeal,” “How Long,” and “Jah Never Fail Wi Yet.” 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 Vybz Kartel and Mavado are regulars. His debut at this event was a major success. It resulted in his becoming a recording artist. As a star, Merchant was born that minute.
Merchant currently, boasts hit singles such as “Move Out Mi Tings”, “Joe Grind”, Never Walk Away”, “Gud Gud Gud”, and “Summer Time”. Even though he is on their levels, he considers himself a humble hybrid of Sean Kingston, Lil’ Wayne, and Vybz Kartel. 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.
Merchant-the Musically Abusicaly Wise a.k.a Dj Vybz is a Super star in the reggae and dancehall music industry. With his wide range of lyrics, flamboyant and versatile styles, he is definitely an artist to watch for the near future. This hard working and determined dancehall artist is an household name on the Jamaican and Caribbean Dancehall scene.
For more on Merchant visit Wikipedia