“I have it so good that I'm terrified of losing it. Sometimes I think: 'can things get any better for me than they are now?'"
Not one to hold back when she has something to say, Damli is quick to elaborate.
“There is no reason to be afraid, things are working out both in terms of my career and home life. I have the best home and a boyfriend who is reliable and great. The fact that there have been some ups and downs, with all the drama that has happened, helps you to really value the good things,” she says.
Sitting in Oslo’s Grand Café, the 24-year-old looks poised and graceful despite all the press she has to do in recent days. Her rapid rise to fame means the release of her fifth album is a big deal in her home country.
Damli refers to "Looking Back," the album which comes out this week, as a sort of "summary" of her career so far. Four of the 16 songs are new, while the rest of the album is made up of singles, along with her own favourites, and songs that have garnered plenty of clicks on YouTube.
She admits that the album is a kind of interim project as she prepares to work on an album of Norwegian-language songs. She and manager David Eriksen have always talked about it, she says, but now it’s time to start making that dream a reality.
“Then there will be nothing to hide behind, so the lyrics will have to be good – according to my definition of good lyrics that is, without being able to please everybody,” she says.
Damli found herself very much on the defensive earlier this year after shedding most of her clothes for the video for hit single “Look Back”. While fans leapt to her defence, other bashed our messages from behind their keyboards, filling the comment fields of Norwegian news sites with derisive remarks about the sexy clip.
She’s also used to getting a cool reception from reviewers.
“I've been a bit defensive when attacked. You go through several phases when creating a record. Ultimately, you have a good feeling, and allow yourself to think: ‘this is good.’ Then you can be upset when others don’t like it. But then a few days pass – and I live on and am back to normal again. But good reviews make me very happy,” she says.
Tone Damli has grown up a lot since she first appeared on talent show “Idol” at the age of 17 in 2005. Her debut album came out later that year.
She’s happy to admit that her life "sounds ultra-perfect", but is also keen to make one point, which she directs especially at her younger fans.
“I have really worked hard to make it happen! I am a little fascinated and horrified when I hear of young people who want to be celebrities. It's a strange goal, if it can be called a goal. Very little is said about all the long hours that go into it when someone does well,” she says.
“But when it’s so pleasurable, it’s not so bad with 12-hour work days,” she adds.