Ramesh Vinayakam was born Ramasubramaniam (AKA Ramsubbu) to Tamil parents Vinayakam and Valli. He went to A. M. Jain College and later graduated in Commerce from the University of Madras. He learned Carnatic music from Rukmini Ramani and Western classical music from Jacob John, completed his studies at the Trinity College, London with a diploma. Ramesh is very popular for his musical, oratorical talents and has won many competitions in the school and college. He held Secretary-Fine Arts in his Alma Mater – A M Jain College, Meenambakkam, Chennai (erstwhile Madras).

Though initially he was a singer in his younger days, he has taken to composing like fish to water as both his parents are singers/composers, it is in his genes. By the time he completed his college he had already composed many songs for various situations along with his poet-friend Narayanan. He had a brief stint as a manager in his father's friend's firm, and he understood that his real ambition is to become a music composer instead of working in an office, as he used to compose/write pieces of music. He decided to pursue his dream when he got a chance to meet S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, through a friend who introduced him to the legend.