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.

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.

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.

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.

Comments (11)
  1. pigeon says:

    Congrats – you did Baltimore proud. Thank you.

  2. SDF Destruction says:

    Great Story…..Congrats….and Hope you soak it all up.

    Seocnd…The groups name is The Whatnauts…..and I’ve been trying to locate their members or anyone associated with them for over 5 years.

    If you know….Holla….thx

  3. Vanda Guzman says:

    Hi James, Giving thanks for the rich blessings God has given to you. I am so happy and full of praise for your blessings. You deserve, handle it with LOVE.
    Blessings , Vanda here in Germany
    Being from Baltimore and being around you , I know that you deserve it. Accept it in love.

  4. Kevin C says:

    Thanks for doing Baltimore PROUD !

  5. Linda says:

    God Bless and thank you . We are very proun of you Linda

  6. Jessi says:

    Congrats!!! Thank you for proving Baltimore has amazing artists and is still a great city ❤ Best of luck!

  7. Marc Avon Evans says:

    Karter, it is an honor to call you friend. You are an amazing songwriter and storyteller. I’ve said to you before that your gift speaks to hearts from stage and your testimony is one of hope that breathes life into the souls of every listener. Proud to see you get the recognition that you deserve. Know that you have EARNED it through your walk. Keep giving us the good music that you do. The worlds a better place everytime a Karter Jaymes tune is heard. Congratulations brother. -Marc

  8. Eric Frazier says:

    Thats my man. God is so good.

  9. Dr. Renee Parks says:

    This is a truly heart-warming interview. Your music transcends time and brings new meaning to every-day experiences. I have a feeling that we are going to hear more of those treasured originals – those that are still in the crates and the ones that the world has yet to hear. I’m very proud of you!

  10. Rashid- I am ever so proud of you.

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