Unni Menon was born on August 12, 1957 at Guruvayoor, a temple town in the Thrissur district of Kerala. He attended the Government Victoria College, Palakkad from where he graduated with a degree in Physics.
Unni Menon moved to Chennai (then Madras) where he had a job in the Heavy Vehicles Factory at Avadi. Many of the prominent recording studios of South India were located in Chennai. His interest in music led him to visit these studios regularly and formed acquaintances with many prominent artistes like the singer K.