MR. ORINGI

Julian “Skrippcha” Vaughn aka “Mr. Oringi” (born July 2, 1985) is an African-American rapper, singer, music producer, musical instrument designer and crafter, and spiritual teacher born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area.

 

Upon taking a series of DNA tests in 2015, he was able to educate himself on his ancestry. The results that he received were quite revealing, and illustrated that he was primarily of Nigerian ancestry, belonging to the Yoruba people of Southwest Nigeria. Once this exhilarating information was brought to light, and after deep meditation, Julian adopted the traditional Yoruba name, Olusanya Adewale Makanjuola Ogungbemi.

 

Mr. Oringi was born in Berkeley, California, but raised in Vallejo, California. He began playing his first instrument, the saxophone, at the age of three, and around the same time his mother taught him how to Hambone, also known as “Pattin’ Juba”. The very first tune that he played on his ‘junior’ saxophone was “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” by ear, and immediately fell in love with that instrument. Over the years, he would begin to hone his skills in elementary, and junior high-school by joining the band, marching band, and drum corps.

 

Always searching for a way to express himself more deeply, he decided that it would not be enough to simply play the instruments that he was growing proficient in, but that he should actually begin creating and fashioning his own musical instruments.

 

Armed with the knowledge of his paternal ancestry being primarily located in the state of Mississippi, as well as with the family history that his paternal great-great, and great grandparents were musicians themselves, he knew that the profound musical legacy so richly found in his bloodline, would only accentuate his endeavors. He began the continuance of his family legacy by purchasing his first bundle of cane bamboo, and fashioning them in the same manner that his grandparents had done. As his success grew, he would begin the arduous task of farming his own bamboo nursery.

 

Realizing that his grandparents never officially named the instruments that they played, only calling them “cane flutes”, Mr. Oringi set his sights on his Yoruba ancestry and the language of his fore-fathers and mothers; a gift that was lost to his grandparents.

 

After careful study, and direct consultation with his newly identified family in West Africa, he blended two Yoruba words, “Orin”, which means 'singing', and "Igi", which means 'stick' or 'tree'. Placed together, these two words form the term ORINGI, and eloquently describe the ability and characteristics of this well revered instrument. Translated into the English language, the term ORINGI means “singing stick”. This is the story of Mr. ORINGI, and how the term ORINGI was born.

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© 2019 ORINGI

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