Maggie Rogers on Writing an Album in 5 Days, Turning 30 & Embracing Her 'Sparkly' New Single Life (Exclusive)

The Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter dropped her third album, 'Don't Forget Me,' on Friday, April 12

<p>Maddy Rotman</p> Maggie Rogers

Maddy Rotman

Maggie Rogers

Maggie Rogers makes it look easy.

The singer-songwriter, 29, released her third full-length album, Don't Forget Me, on Friday, April 12, and she's on a roll. The 10-song collection — which her idols would be proud of — showcases the vivid storytelling and catchy melodies she's become known for.

What's even more impressive: The record came together in just five days.

Before touring her second album Surrender last year, she met up with songwriter-producer Ian Fitchuk (who's worked with artists including Maren Morris and Kacey Musgraves) for what Rogers calls "a creative handshake" that "just worked."

<p>Margaret Eshalman</p> Maggie Rogers

Margaret Eshalman

Maggie Rogers

"There was no pressure. I went in with absolutely no conception of what I was going to write or what I wanted my next record to sound like. It was really just playtime. We worked from 10 to 5, and we would write one song before lunch and one song after," Rogers, 29, tells PEOPLE of their process. "Those five days weren't all in a row, but they were within the span of two weeks, and it was just like... I think that if I would tell myself a couple of years ago that I did this, I would be like, 'Oh my God, are you good? Are you okay?' But I was just so happy to get to go to work every day and do this thing that I love more than anything."

The result: Rogers' best album to date.

Related: Maggie Rogers Reflects on Grad School, Going Viral and How Britney Spears Inspired a New Lyric

<p>Maddy Rotman</p> Maggie Rogers

Maddy Rotman

Maggie Rogers

Don't Forget Me is also a departure for the Grammy-nominated star, who says the record is a mix of her own stories, her friends' experiences — and some about characters she created.

"I had never written a character before. In writing this record, in some way this work of fiction appeared, which is this character who was sort of in her early to mid-twenties, she's going through a breakup, she's going on this road trip through the American Southwest, she's landing in L.A. with her friends, but she's alone in the car," Rogers says. "It was really inspired in some ways by Thelma and Louise and that really beautiful dusty motel landscape and that sense of transformation that you feel throughout a road trip. I really wanted to make a Sunday afternoon driving record, because to me, those are some of the most personal records."

That sense of freedom and self-assurance can be heard throughout Don't Forget Me, which arrives eight years after Rogers first made buzz when her breakout song "Alaska" left Pharrell Williams speechless during a visit to her New York University music production class.

"I turn 30 at the end of April, and in so many ways, this record is this big woven tapestry of all these stories from my twenties," says Rogers, who just announced her first-ever arena tour. "I'm at this place in my life where I really trust my creative practice and my creative flow, and I know that I'm an artist, and I don't need to prove that to myself anymore."

And Rogers is an academic as well as an artist. Since graduating with her master's in religion and public life from Harvard Divinity School in 2022, Rogers — now a fellow — has been working to turn her thesis into a book.

"I was writing a lot about creativity as a form of religion and thinking about what it means to be an artist, but it's all in academic writing because that was the format it had to be in for a master's thesis," she says. "I think that the format that I like writing in the most is way more like essay, memoir style, so I'm really just adapting a lot of the research and writing into something that's nicer to read."

<p>UMG</p> Maggie Rogers' 'Don't Forget Me' album art


Maggie Rogers' 'Don't Forget Me' album art

When she's not working on her book or new music ("I am halfway through another one," she adds casually), Rogers is relishing downtime with her girlfriends.

"I'm single really for the first time since I was 17. I've just been in these really wonderful, long relationships," she says, reflecting on her newly single life, which is filled with steaks and martinis. "It's completely unserious and very sparkly and silly. I feel so much freedom and just appreciation for my friends. I'm just having a blast.

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Read the original article on People.