Rita was born in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. She was exposed to classical music very early in life and started attending classical Carnatic music lessons at the age of five. Her mother Lalitha Thyagarajan is a veteran illustrator and artist in Chennai and also a classical veena player while her father is employed with a popular Indian daily. She later started learning Hindustani classical music and has trained under celebrated masters in Chennai. Her sister is also trained in classical Carnatic music and runs her own design consultancy business in Chennai. Rita did her early schooling in P.S.Senior Secondary School in Mylapore and moved on to do a Bachelors in Design from Stella Maris College like her mother and sister. It was in college that she discovered her penchant for other styles of music and experimented with commercial film and Western styles.
She is also a graphic designer and visualiser and co-founder of a design studio of integrated freelance professionals called Utopik. 'Yendan Varungaalaveetukaraney' from the movie Aanai was the first song she recorded and from then she has recorded over 300 songs and jingles in all major South Indian languages. She got her big break for the song 'Vada Mapillai' in Villu and went on to deliver chartbusters like 'Allegra' and 'Mambo mamiyaa' for Kandasamy in Tamil.