Janelle Monáe dropped by Jimmy Kimmel Live! to dish on their appearance in Netflix’s upcoming blockbuster, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery… as well as the backstory behind a video of them posing topless at a friend’s birthday party.
Much like the mystery in the movie, this friend takes Monáe on a secret vacation destination each year, with past places including Jamaica and Las Vegas. This year’s party spot was Mexico — and each night of the trip had a different theme.
The first night of Monáe’s birthday trip was “Intergalactic,” where they channeled an extraterrestrial in a pink wig and lots of fluorescent sparkles. From there, the friends organized a “hot sexy tea party” (with a lingerie dress code) and a murder mystery party night. (It’s unclear if Monáe won this game, considering their recent experience in the genre.)
However, Monáe decided to let their creativity shine when the friends organized a “wine night where […] your clothes need to match your favorite white wine or your favorite red wine.” They opted for neither.
“Earlier in the day they had told me the theme and I was like, you know what, it’s my birthday, I just want to be free!” they explained. “I want to be, like, so free and I want to let it all hang out. So they were all dressed and I was topless.”
Monáe uploaded a video from that night to Instagram, where they are dancing around in just a skirt as a band plays and fireworks set off from the beach. “Still floating. Thank you all for the bday love. This is just a small glimpse of how I spent it,” the caption read. “Fully honoring the present. Thank you to my loved ones for planning such a magical experience + each of them adorning my body with temp tats so I could have a bday suit that matched how i felt.”