5 cool facts about the university that shaped Indonesian singer Niki’s career

Cool facts about Lipscomb University
According to report, Indonesian singer Niki studied music at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee. Source: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Coachella/AFP

Indonesian singer Niki (born Nicole Zefanya) is no stranger to her native music scene as well as the international music arena. According to reports, the 23-year-old was an international student at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee.

There are many cool facts about Lipscomb University, but for those who may not know Niki, here is a short introduction to the songstress.

Since she was signed to the record label 88rising, Niki has released two extended play (EP) albums. Her hit single “Every Summertime” topped the charts in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines.

At age 15, she was chosen to be the opening act for Taylor Swift’s “The Red Tour” concert — a feat not many teenagers or young singers can boast about. Niki is also among the first few Indonesians who have performed at the annual world-famous Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in California.

So, why did Niki choose to pursue her education abroad particularly at Lipscomb University to study music? Let’s explore five interesting facts about her alma mater.

5 cool facts about Lipscomb University that inspired Niki’s musical career

Lipscomb University

The music scene in Nashville makes it the perfect platform for any aspiring singer to get their start. Source: Frederic J. Brown/AFP

Its location in Nashville, also known as “Music City USA”

Lipscomb University’s location in Nashville — also known as “Music City USA” — makes it a haven for aspiring musicians looking to make it big.

The capital of continental music culture earned its nickname due to its well-celebrated fiddle tunes and buck dancing back in the 18th century — with Davy Crocket being the first celebrity in Nashville, having played fiddle music with all types of colourful stories.

Many successful singers have hailed or passed through Nashville. This includes Dolly Parton, who reportedly came to Nashville to start her music career. 

Taylor Swift also reportedly moved to Hendersonville, Tennessee as a teenager so that “she could devote more of her time to courting country labels in nearby Nashville”.

This is good news for students enrolled at Lipscomb University (whether domestic or international) — as the city is home to a diverse entertainment and music scene.

Its School of Music holds an annual songwriting contest for high schoolers

The School of Music at Lipscomb University holds an annual songwriting competition to award the best and brightest young talents at the high school level.

Those brave enough to showcase their songwriting skills to a panel of highly acclaimed judges could potentially win a small studio package, including a Focusrite Clarett+ audio interface, Presonus I/O Station and a Sennheiser large diaphragm microphone.

Those who are selected as finalists of the songwriting competition receive a personalised and professional feedback from published commercial songwriters from the School of Music Faculty at Lipscomb University.

Fun fact: Niki herself is a songwriter.

It has an exceptional men’s basketball team

If you’re a sports fan, another one of many cool facts about Lipscomb University is that it maintains an exceptionally talented basketball team called the “Lipscomb Bisons”.

Its impressive wins began in 1986 when the Lipscomb Bisons won the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) National Championship. The team competed in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) twice, in 2006 and 2010. They bagged their first Atlantic Sun Men’s Basketball Tournament title in 2018.

The Lipscomb Bisons is also home to the top two all-time leading college basketball scorers: John Pierce and Philip Hutcheson.


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Lipscomb University educates prison inmates

Another cool fact about Lipscomb University is that it offers faith-based education to two Tennessee prisons.

In the US, only 35% of state prisons offer a college education — and just six percent of the prison populace take university-level courses. It’s website notes that LIFE is one of the growing numbers of higher education in prison programmes in the US.

Since 2007, Lipscomb has celebrated 30 degree completions from prison inmates and is expecting a further 14 to graduate in 2022.

The LIGHT programme at Lipscomb University encourages intercultural communication

The Lipscomb LIGHT programme offers a globally-focused curriculum and experiential opportunities for its students.

It helps students to be broad-minded and receptive to cultural practices, systems and institutional structures that are different to theirs.

Students have the option of going through two foundational and mandatory courses, and they will have the opportunity to take additional LIGHT courses developed within their major or minor programme or participate in a LIGHT-designated event.