Merchant 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 and
dancehall deejay, writer, and producer. He is known for his eclectic and flamboyant lyrics.
Early life and career
He was born to parents Charmaine Bowen and Renford Nicholson in Manchester, Jamaica. Nicholson grew up in Manchester, where he attended the Kayda Primary School and later on moved to Kingston in the garrison of Water House, and continued his education Drew’s Avenue All Age School; where he started singing at school concerts. At the age of 15, he moved to the coastal city of Portmore in southern Jamaica and where he furthered his schooling at the Waterford Comprehensive High School. While attending school, he and his pairs would hold their own concerts during the lunch break beating rhythms on the desk and carrying out deejay battles with each other. Music is inherently rooted in the Nicholson's family bloodline. 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".
While growing up in Portmore, Merchant encountered the musical influences and mentorship from artists such as Busy Signal, Bounty Killer, Konshens, Mad-Cobra, Mavado, Frisco-kid, Singer J and Indica. In 2004, he was encouraged by Indica to enter the B-mobile star search talent competition in Portmore at Ken's Wild flower Lounge and was placed first runner up to roots reggae phenom Gyptian, known worldwide for such hits as “Hold yuh", " Nah Let Go", “Serious Times", " Mama", " Beautiful lady", and "She's My Lady". In that same year, Merchant performed at his first major event - "The West Kingston Jamboree", , where world class dancehall and reggae talents such as Beenie Man, Vybz Kartel, and Mavado are regulars. His debut at this event was a major success; it resulted in him becoming a recording artist. Early on, Merchant currently boasted hit singles such as "Rise Up Mi People", "Badness Nuh Pay" and "Dance the Time Away" which were released in 2011.However, In December 2012, Merchant, went to war to prove himself and released "Move Out Mi tings" from his artillery which reviewed rave reviews and ignited a family feud. The inspiration for this song was the then existing conflict between Merchant and his baby’s mother. The accompanying music video for the song "Move Out Mi Things” exploded with overwhelming popularity and received heavy rotations on CVM HD, Swag TV, Links TV, TVJ and Hype TV, leading to multiple press features. Since then, he has collaborated with his uncle, Derrick Parker, on “Why Did You Have to Go Away,” and with Beenie Man's brother, Kirk Davis, on “Love a Bubble Up", and “Freedom Fighter".
His singles, "Bun A Fire", "Freedom Fighter", and "I Wish" were released on the NVUS Records (NVUS Label) in May 2015.
Merchant’s next move in the music industry is to revolutionize the stagnant undercurrent that the international music industry is caught in. He wants to invade Cash Money Records and Young Money to add to their musical flavors. Merchant is now aiming to work with the likes of "Iggy Azalea", "Miley Cyrus", “Lil’ Wayne,” “Nicki Minaj,” Rick “Rozay” Ross,” “DJ Khaled” or even his old school idols “Tony Bennett” and “Dolly Parton.”
On October 3rd, 2000, the rap duo, Outkast, released the song “Miss Jackson.” The song revolves around Andre Benjamin’s tumultuous relationship with Erykah Badu and her mother. Merchant’s “Move Out Mi Tings” parallels the Outkast song in that he airs the dirty laundry of his personal relationship with his baby’s mother. The relationship with that lady went sour when Merchant was doing some overseas business in the Bahamas and his live-in girlfriend was having a relationship with a neighbor. According to Merchant, she sold his personal belongings (moving out with items such as furniture and appliances) and left Jamaica for Barbados. Instead of resorting to violence, Merchant decided to use his lyrical penmanship, and in two days, his masterpiece was completed. When asked about his inspiration for writing the song, Merchant described it as a knee-jerk reaction. He explained: "Because mi very hurt still. She no tell mi seh she move dem. She just do it. When mi come wid mi suitcase, only me and di suitcase inna di house. So instead of we having a physical war, mi just write di song. So if di song buss, mi can move in back some tings. Probably a my luck." The song was highly controversial and made enemies as well as new fans for the embattled Merchant. When Publicist Karla Ashley (from Island Fuse Entertainment) interviewed Merchant’s baby mother, she was not in agreement with Merchant’s recount of events in the song and did not like the fact that their personal relation was aired in public. She explained: "I don't really like the song. I don't think it was truthful. I don't think he should have put it in the public. It needed more information so people would know exactly what took place. It was our private life so it should not have gone public".Nevertheless, motivated by the success of his former reality premised song, Merchant released another single entitled “Joe Grind” (a real life recount of one of his friend’s woman’s infidelity that employs a humorous undertone).