Kellie Pickler has come a long way since her "American Idol" days, eight years and four albums later, the country singer is already working on a new project.

After performing for an intimate crowd just south of Nashville on Monday, Pickler spoke to Billboard about how far she's come and teased the release of a new record, her fifth.

"I'm working on my fifth album. I'm in the whole songwriting and song-picking process. We're in the very early stages of working on it," she said. "It's always great to have new music out -- to freshen up the set list, and it's exciting for the country fans. They are always eager to have new music."

While the new album comes on the heels of her 2013 record The Woman I Am, Pickler explained the process is so long that by the time the record actually comes out, she'll probably be ready to work on the next one.

"It's interesting that when you're working on an album, you pretty much live with it for the year that you're working on it. Then you send it off for the copies to be made, and the artwork to be produced and distributed. That takes months. So you've lived with the album for almost a year before anyone hears it. Then, by the time it comes out, you're ready for the next one, because you're sung it a million times -- but not for anyone outside of your circle."

The "Best Days of Your Life" singer also spoke about the privilege of getting to know some of her favorite artists, and confessed she's really enjoyed meeting country legends Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire and Kenny Rogers.

"That was such a surreal moment for me," she said of performing with Rogers at a benefit for Cumberland Heights last October.