BALTIMORE (WJZ)–He’s spent his life making music, hoping someday one of his songs would make it big. And now it has.

Weijia Jiang explains he’s on his way to the Grammys.

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Behind every song is a story. The story of “Ain’t Leaving Without You” performed by artist Jaheim– who’s up for three Grammys this year– started in Baltimore three decades ago.

“I waited 30 years for this song to get recognition,” said Karter James, Grammy nominee.

Born and raised in Baltimore City, musician Karter James wrote the song in 1981. Fast forward to a couple years ago when Jaheim’s producers were going through a random collection of records.

“And pulled this one record up, ‘Help Is On The Way’ by a group called The Whatnauts from Baltimore,” James said.

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So, Jaheim revived it as a love song, which is on his album nominated for best R&B. But James says he wrote it after getting through a battle with partying on the streets. It was a song of inspiration.

“Baltimore had ups and downs, me being from the city conditioned me to be able to deal with the ups and downs,” James said.

Now, he’s gearing up to go to the Grammy Awards main stage to see how high his song will climb. And he hopes he won’t be leaving the show empty-handed.

“We’ve all won, but everyone would like to carry that trophy home,” James said.

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This is James’ second Grammy nod. In the early 90s he wrote a song for Teddy Pendergrass that was also nominated. This is his first time actually going to the ceremony, though.