The Cover Story

NOAHFINNCE: “There’s always going to be people that can’t see me as anything more than an influencer, but they’re not worth worrying about”

Having spent nearly a decade baring his soul online, now NOAHFINNCE is finally ready to do it through his music. And with debut album GROWING UP ON THE INTERNET he’s pulling no punches, showing the world that he was born to do this while opening up about everything from transphobia to mental health…

NOAHFINNCE: “There’s always going to be people that can’t see me as anything more than an influencer, but they’re not worth worrying about”
Emily Carter
Brennan Bucannan
Kitty Cowell

Noah Finn Adams has a pretty succinct way of summing up his debut album, GROWING UP ON THE INTERNET. In fact, he doesn’t even need to use a word for it. Rather, when asked to describe the impending record and everything it encompasses, what comes out of his mouth is an emphatic, explosive jumble of a noise.

Bleeegh-aaarghhhhhh!” he shrieks, eyes wide with a mixture of feverish glee and panic.

For an “in-your-face, animated” star who’s made his name talking to millions of followers online for almost a decade, this is a rare moment when Noah – also known by his stage name NOAHFINNCE – can’t quite express the many thoughts swirling around his head.

“I feel like the mood is just, ‘Fuuuuuckkkkkk! Shiiiiiitttttttt!’” the 24-year-old continues light-heartedly, attempting to elaborate on a release that captivatingly tackles everything from transphobia to total exhaustion. It is, he suggests, a “generational” feeling – a frustrated mindset of “being so pissed-off at the state of the world that we’ve been given” that many Gen Z and millennials are also going through (Noah describes himself as a Gen Z who is “on the border”, having been born in 1999 but grown up with an older brother who showed him “millennial toys, TV shows, that kind of stuff”).

“A lot of the album is rage, but I think sarcastic rage,” he says with a tired laugh. “Like, ‘Holy shit. This sucks. We should do something about it. Holy shit. Fuck. This sucks.’ Even as I’m trying to explain it now, it’s all coming out as” – here’s that same noise again – “Bleeegh-aaarghhhhhh! It’s a general state of feeling overwhelmed that I think a lot of people – even if they can’t specifically relate to the intricacies of it – can understand the whole idea of.”

Noah wears jumper by ASOS

Now we’re getting somewhere. In fact, that’s precisely who Noah is: someone that makes you understand. Dressed in black sweats, arms wrapped comfortably around his knee, he’s a warm and welcoming interviewee, treating his first-ever Kerrang! Cover Story much like one of the hundreds of videos that have seen him already become such a hero to so many.

“There’s very little intentional stuff that I do,” he begins, reflecting on an authentic approach to everything – from his career to his very existence. “When I think of the hardest moments of my life, the way that I’ve dealt with it has always been, ‘I’ll just make a joke about it.’ I’ll be like, ‘Oh, that sucks. That happened. But, like, slay!’ (Laughs) That’s always how I deal with stuff. There have been, obviously, a few moments in my life where I’ve fully gone off the deep end and been like, ‘Shit, everything sucks. There is no possible way that I can feel happiness ever again.’ But because I’ve gone through a lot of that stuff – especially when I was younger – I’ve found that the best way for me to process it and to deal with it is to know that you can always put a positive spin on stuff.”

GROWING UP ON THE INTERNET was built with a similarly brutal-yet-uplifting design. Following his Stuff From My Brain and My Brain After Therapy EPs, in 2023 Noah began working with various co-writers including McFly’s Danny Jones and Dougie Poynter, LostAlone’s Steven Battelle, and his go-to collaborator/producer ST£FAN. As is his way, there was no specific “intention” behind this all-important debut album at first… until a getting-to-know-you conversation with Danny and Dougie sparked the emotional focus of some of his lyrics.

“Our first session was just talking about stuff – stuff I believed in, stuff I thought, and the direction I wanted to go,” Noah recalls. “We ended up scrapping up the first thing that we wrote on the first day, and we came back the second day, and they asked me what was on my mind. And for the past few years, the state of transphobia in the UK, and across the world, really, has just been part of my everyday life.”

Noah wears shorts by True Religion, jacket by Oriana Capaldi Ciudad and shoes by New Rock @ Schuh

In truth, it’s been an unwelcome burden for even longer than that. Though Noah publicly came out as a transgender man in 2017, he had been “in the closet” in his English naval boarding school, and not unreasonably expected that things would get easier once he could start living life as his true self. But they didn’t.

“When I transitioned, I thought everything would be chill, but for some reason, transphobia is just on a fucking high rise,” he says. “And it just so happened that the day that we went into that second session, there was a load of shit on Twitter that I was mad about. It was interesting explaining to them what the viewpoints of transphobes are – like, the fact that people will see me speaking about my transition, and they’ll tell me that I’m grooming children, just literally for talking about my own personal life. I was showing them comments to be like, ‘Hey, I know you understand that things are bad, but this is the extent of what people actually think about trans people.’”

“When I transitioned, I thought everything would be chill, but transphobia is just on a f*cking high rise”


These days, Noah has stopped reading his comments. But at the time he hadn’t, and there was one video in particular that had garnered an unbelievable amount of hatred.

“It got, like, 14 million views in a week or something,” he remembers. “It was literally just me doing a voice update from when I started testosterone – so it was like, ‘Hi, my name is Noah. This is my voice pre-testosterone.’ ‘Hi, my name is Noah, this is my voice after four years on testosterone.’ That video went viral. And every single comment was like, ‘You’re gonna die. You’re gonna get cancer and die. You’re indoctrinating children. You’re a predator.’”

Having thankfully learned not to “internalise” trolls’ words, Noah instead used it as fuel for the record, and decided to write – really, for the first time ever in his music – about transphobia and online abuse. And from the scathing, theatrical punk rock of LOVELY LADIES to the wrath of the title-track, he bravely makes his stand.

Then there’s opener KINDA LOVE IT, which sets the tone for what’s to come (‘Why you hearing violence in our silence / You’re the one who’s burning picket signs’).

“Starting the album with that song,” he teases, “is like, ‘I know some of you hate me, and it only makes me want to do this more…’”

Noah wears top by Karl Kani

Amazingly, it was only within the past two years that Noah realised he’s had a pretty extraordinary life so far. Before then, he hadn’t thought about it all that much. But a U.S. headline tour meeting fans and putting faces to his many dedicated YouTube subscribers in 2022 hit him hard.

“It’s not that I was spiralling, but it was the biggest moment where I was like, ‘Oh, shit, this isn’t just my life online. This is real life!’” he smiles. “I think the first day of the U.S. tour, I met a kid that was like, ‘I feel like I’ve grown up with you. I watched every single video that you’ve posted every single week for five years.’ And I just can’t compute that. It got me thinking about how strange it is that I’ve had that many eyes on me since I was 15. When you grow up with an audience and you’re constantly getting feedback about who you should be, and who people want you to be, and what they don’t like about you, you can’t separate that from who you are as a person.”

Given the title of the album, it’s no secret to say that Noah’s relationship with the online world is complex. On one hand, this “constant feedback” he speaks of is practically impossible to process. But on the other, YouTube gave him a place where he could show people who he really was when he needed it most.

“As much as it’s fucked-up, the amount of stuff that I’ve had to deal with as a literal child on the internet, I can never not be so intensely appreciative of that,” he nods. “I was in the closet at school, and literally the only place where I could be myself was the internet. And I think if I didn’t have that community or that space to access, I don’t know… I was a shell of a person while I was in school, because I was just so aware of who I was, and so aware of what I needed to do in my life to make myself happier, but so aware that in the (puts on posh voice) conservative naval boarding school I was in (laughs), that was not a possibility.

“A lot of the last year or two it’s just been trying to unpack that,” Noah continues. “Meeting people has made me realise that my life online and my life in real life aren’t separate anymore. And I’m glad that it’s the direction that the album went, because I was like, ‘Okay, this this feels right.’”

“My life online and my real life aren’t separate anymore”


On GROWING UP ON THE INTERNET’s brilliant title-track, Noah reflects on that tricky “unpacking” process, admitting that, ‘It still hasn’t hit me yet’. Will that always be the case, perhaps, or do you think eventually you’ll be able to make peace with it?

“I’m not sure,” he admits. “I think there’s always going to be a part of me that’s never going to be able to really comprehend that, because I don’t think humans are able to process that much information. Like, we’re supposed to just be living in our own little villages, with our local communities. You can think about it, and you can talk about it as much as you want in therapy, but I just don’t think humans are really designed to comprehend that level of attention. So I don’t know if I’ll ever fully comprehend it. But I’m definitely closer to processing it than I was.”

Noah wears hat by Cyber Dog, shorts by True Religion, jacket by Oriana Capaldi Ciudad and shoes by New Rock

The record also hears Noah addressing a more recent development: being diagnosed with autism. In fact, just two weeks before this interview he received confirmation from doctors – though he had long suspected it was coming anyway. As such, the likes of ALEXITHYMIA, GIBBERISH and “big emo anthem” SUBTITLES hit even harder for him now.

“I was slowly coming to terms with the fact that I was definitely autistic, and I had just flown under the radar,” he explains. “A lot of last year was just like, ‘Oh shit, the internet fucked me up… Oh shit, I’m also autistic.’ SUBTITLES is entirely just a song about me watching everything with subtitles because I need to understand what people are saying, but also in terms of actually speaking to people in real life, it’s difficult for me to know what people mean. I don’t particularly pick up on tone very well.

“The second verse of that song – ‘I wish that this life had come free with instructions / I’m sick of soul-searching, just trying to function’ – is definitely my favourite second verse of any song I’ve ever written,” he adds (he also came up with it while “taking a dump”, in case you were wondering). “That is entirely what my headspace was, because after touring for a few years and writing and releasing music, I would get so burnt out, but to the extent that other people didn’t. And I learned that that was autistic burnout. With that song, I was really just in my feels about the fact that I felt so different from other people.”

Noah wears top by Karl Kani and jeans by True Religion

This burnout was no joke for Noah, as he also bares all in pop-punk bop 3 DAY HEADACHE (‘I’m waiting on a breakdown!’) and I KNOW BETTER. And though he “hasn’t quite figured out” how to stop it from happening again – which will undoubtedly be a challenge, given he effectively has two full-time jobs as a YouTuber and a musician – the diagnosis has nevertheless been a “purely positive” thing.

“Listening back to the album now is funny because I’m just like, ‘Yep! Yep! Yep!’” he laughs. “When I had the diagnosis, it was just like, ‘Fucking finally!’ It’s been a bit of a journey of learning to communicate when I’m too exhausted to do stuff, and really just a lot of Googling, and a lot of listening to people that I probably should have listened to years ago. But am I on the right track? Yeah. A year ago I wouldn’t have been able to do an arena tour – it would have been too much.”

Noah wears jacket by Drop Dead, T-shirt by Jurban, shoes by True Religion, shoes by New Rock @ Schuh and necklaces by Underground England

About that tour. For the past couple of weeks, NOAHFINNCE has been on the road with Enter Shikari and FEVER 333, playing some of the biggest gigs of his life and showing the UK that, just like his successful career online, he’s got the rock star potential to boot. Not only is Noah enormously talented (he’s an accomplished multi-instrumentalist who can play guitar, bass, ukulele and drums), but he’s also prioritised creating a genuine community of like-minded – and open-minded – people.

“It’s hard to explain it without sounding like the generalised, ’It’s a bunch of broken people trying to make it through the world!’” he says. “But I’m very ADHD, I’ve got a lot of autism that I didn’t realise I had, I’ve always been weird, I’ve always been into the music that I’ve been into, and I feel like the community that I have is just a bunch of weird people trying to feel like they belong somewhere. That’s definitely the vibe I get. When I play shows, there’ll be some people that are like, ‘I’m going to see the NOAHFINNCE and he’s a rock star!’ But the connection that I feel in those rooms is way more important than that.”

With a growing listenership, navigating these sorts of relationships is still a work-in-progress. After all, most of Noah’s own favourite bands – from Bring Me The Horizon to Pierce The Veil to Neck Deep – didn’t start out by revealing every tiny aspect of their lives on YouTube. And now the script is flipped, he’s realised just what a difference being that open means.

“I think a lot of bands and artists have a fanbase where their fans know them from the music, and they can interpret what they want from the lyrics and feel like that about themselves,” he explains. “Whereas because of how I’ve grown an audience it’s very personal, and people know so much more about me than they would about, like, My Chemical Romance, for example. I feel like from the start of my career it’s very parasocial. When I grew up, and I was looking for help in terms of my identity online, it was very helpful. But I think it has a level of intensity that is always going to be overwhelming.”

And it’s not only from meeting his following first-hand. It’s even his fans’ parents, thanking Noah for the impact he’s made on their children.

“They’ll be like, ‘Hey, you’re the reason I still have a son!’” he says in disbelief. “And I’m like, ‘No I’m not! You do a good job!’ There’s never going to be an appropriate response to that level of intensity, so I think you just have to learn how to not internalise it. It’s very intense, but very rewarding as well.”

While quite literally hundreds of thousands of people recognise all the good Noah does, there are those with surface-level opinions, however, who see him as just an influencer trying his luck in rock. As always, he’s extremely thoughtful about the situation, but it doesn’t stop occasional feelings of frustration.

“I think the most annoying thing is just the whole, ‘You’re an influencer, you’re a YouTuber, what are you doing in the music space?’” he says. “And especially in this music, where emotions and authenticity is at the forefront. That’s what drew me to this kind of world. I literally had a subscription to Kerrang!, and I could show you pictures of my bedroom and it’s all Kerrang! posters. I grew up in this scene, and the only thing I ever looked forward to was going to shows. The biggest misconception that bothers me is people thinking that I’m just some TikToker; I’m on TikTok, but I’m not a TikToker!

“It makes sense for older generations, where they don’t quite understand how those two things can be the same,” he adds. “But to me, posting on YouTube is just an extension of who I am as a person, and I think that’s also how I am with my music. It’s a bit annoying when people view me as, like, an intruder. But I think that’s definitely lessened in the past few years. And obviously touring with Shikari [has helped]. I literally asked my manager: ‘I love them… why do they want me to do this tour with them?!’ And he’s like, ‘They just like you!’ So I feel validated, in a way. But I think there’s always going to be people that can’t see me as anything more than an influencer. But they’re not worth worrying about.”

“Posting on YouTube is just an extension of who I am as a person, and I think that’s also how I am with my music”


Nope, Noah doesn’t need to worry about them at all. He’s one of the most unique, interesting and important young artists in the alt. world today. And while the impact of what he’s been through may not have been fully realised quite yet, he’s certainly starting to figure things out.

“I appreciate every aspect of it,” he agrees. “Even the fucked-up stuff that I’ve experienced, I’ve learned so much from it. I wouldn’t have any of this without the internet. I think it’s a great tool, but I also think that we’re a guinea pig generation, where it’s like, ‘Here’s this unrestricted access to the internet – let’s see how that will affect a child!’ I hope in the future there’s more safeguarding procedures put in place, and there’s less kids growing up with those kinds of experiences. But yeah, I’ll never not be appreciative of it.”

So, how would he sum it all up? This whole rollercoaster ride, from struggling his way through school, to coming out, to going viral and now gearing up to release his debut album? This time, we don’t get a random sound. Just a few short words.

“It’s been a bit much!” he replies with a big laugh. “A bit much…”

GROWING UP ON THE INTERNET is released on March 8 via Hopeless Records

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